Ukraine minister says Russia worse than Isis after beheading video

Ukraine: Prigozhin says Bakhmut is ‘surrounded’ by Wagner

Russia has been labelled ‘worse than Isis’ after disturbing footage emerged which appeared to show the country’s soldiers decapitating a prisoner of war from Ukraine.

The twisted scenes show a gang of soldiers speaking Russian using a knife to behead a man dressed in green fatigues emblazoned with the yellow armband used by Ukrainian troops to help them identify each other during combat.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described those commiting the sickening act as “beasts” and demanded an immediate and robust response from the international community, the Daily Mail reports.

Drawing comparisons to videos made by Islamic State terrorists from their self-declared caliphate that spanned across Iraq and Syria a decade ago, Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba branded them “worse than Isis”.

The head of Ukraine’s SBU secret service, Vasyl Malyuk, vowed to hunt down and “punish” the murderers, calling them “subhuman”.

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Condemning the execution in a video address, Mr Zelensky said: “There is something that no one in the world can ignore – how easily these beasts kill.

“This video, the execution of a Ukrainian captive, the world must see it. This is a video of Russia as it is, what kind of creatures they are.”

“There will be legal responsibility for everything,” Mr Zelensky said, in a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin who is the subject of an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court.

“The defeat of terror is necessary. No one will understand if the leaders don’t react. Action is required now.”

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The currently unverified footage is believed to have been recorded last summer near Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine and shows mercenaries from the Wagner group carrying out the atrocity.

One individual in the video can be heard saying: “Get working brothers. Break his spine.” He goes on to ask: “Have you never cut off a head?”

Writing about Wagner forces in a battlefied assessment earlier this week, US-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War said they are reported to be “continuing to commit war crimes by beheading Ukrainian servicemen in Bakhmut”.

Mr Malyuk said: “We will find these subhumans… They will be punished.”

Russia currently holds the presidency of the UN Security Council. Mr Kuleba said: “It is absurd that Russia, which is worse than Isis, presides over the UN Security Council.

“Russian terrorists must be kicked out of Ukraine and the UN.”

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the video was “horrific” but added that “it should be verified”.

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