A Ukrainian soldier who was filmed by Russian troops being executed by firing squad had been missing since early February, Ukrainian authorities revealed Tuesday.
Timofei Shadura was seen in a video circulated by Russian propagandists earlier this week. Upon being told he was being filmed, Shadura appeared ready to meet his fate—he stood and faced his executioners, and, taking one last drag from a cigarette, said, “Glory to Ukraine!”
His killers, who were all out of sight of the camera, immediately opened fire with machine guns, before the unknown cameraman bitterly said, “Die, bitch.”
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday said Shadura had been among troops fending off a Russian takeover of Bakhmut. He was declared missing on Feb. 3 after intense fighting in the area.
“Revenge will be inescapable,” said the commander of Ukraine’s 30th Separate Mechanized Brigade.
“At the moment, the body of the serviceman is in temporarily occupied territory. Final confirmation of his identity will occur upon return of the body and examinations,” the brigade said.
Prior to the announcement, Shadura’s sister, Olga, told a Ukrainian journalist she was “90 percent sure” the soldier in the video was her brother.
“A video appeared today showing how the invaders brutally killed a soldier who bravely looked in their eyes and said, ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ I want us all together, in unity, to answer his words: ‘Glory to the hero! Glory to the heroes! Glory to Ukraine! And we’ll find the killers,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to the nation late Monday.
Russian officials have not yet commented on the video, but the Kremlin’s mouthpieces have already begun circulating conspiracy theories about it.
“There is reason to believe that they shot our soldier, who was dressed in a Ukrainian uniform for the sake of an international scandal and to accuse our side of war crimes,” Daniil Bezsonov, the “deputy information minister” of Russia’s puppet republic in Donetsk wrote on Telegram.