An online video has surfaced claiming to show another instance of a war crime committed by the Russian military or pro-Russian forces.
The video, which shows the decapitation of a Ukrainian soldier, was published in the private Telegram channel of Vladislav Pozdniakov, the creator of “Men's State.” Along with the video, the channel's author included a sarcastic comment about the “nitakuski,” [“not-righters”] a term used to mock pro-Russian supporters who claim to be against violence towards Ukrainian prisoners of war.
The video has been shared in various public Telegram channels, although its authenticity has not been verified. The Insider has chosen not to release the video due to ethical considerations.
The footage appears to depict a man in uniform with a yellow armband, likely a Ukrainian prisoner of war, lying on the ground. A man in camouflage with no visible insignia is shown standing over him, wearing a white armband on his leg - a symbol commonly associated with the Russian military and pro-Russian fighters.
In the video, the standing man uses a knife to decapitate the prisoner, who can be heard screaming in agony.
There are several other people standing around, cheering the man with the knife: “Let's work, brothers! Cut it the fuck off! Break his spine! Haven't you ever cut off a fuckin' head before? Go all the way.” They also show a bulletproof vest with Ukrainian insignia, probably belonging to the Ukrainian soldier.
The call sign “Varyag” is heard in background radio conversations. When the head is separated from the body, the man filming the video says: “Fucking bag it and send to the commander”.
The anonymous investigator, who runs the Twitter account @666_mancer, suggests that the incident took place in the summer of 2022.
There has already been a response from the Z-community regarding the video. Oleg Tsarev, a former member of the Verkhovna Rada and a prominent figure among the so-called “Novorossians,” stated that beheading a captive is a criminal act and recording it is foolish.
“I cannot find a term to describe those responsible for uploading the video online, but if such behavior remains unpunished by law, there will be no functioning state.”
According to the popular Z-channel “Two Majors,” the video is “horrific” in nature, but only those who have experienced similar circumstances can truly pass judgment on those who carried out the beheading. Meanwhile, “Zapiski Veterana” [a veteran's notes], another Z-channel with over 300,000 subscribers, has also refrained from denouncing the creators of the video.
“Having viewed the video myself, I have chosen not to publish it. While I cannot bring myself to condone the act, I also cannot condemn those who carried it out. I have previously expressed my thoughts on this matter - the perceived romance of war fades quickly after witnessing the horror of a man having half his head blown off or his guts spilling out from a piece of shrapnel tearing open his belly. There is no idealism in war, only blood, dirt, pain, and death. Before we pass judgment, we must remember the actions of the Ukrainians, who shot our prisoners in the legs, gouged out their eyes with knives, and even boiled our soldiers' heads in a cauldron. Though we do not condone such acts, we must acknowledge that war is like that.”
Ukrainian politicians have also weighed in on the issue. Andriy Yermak, the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, posted a message in his Telegram channel stating that “there will be retaliation and responsibility for everything.”