The video – first verified by The New York Times – shows a group of soldiers wearing Ukrainian patches and blue armbands on a road after an exchange of fire. The bodies of at least four men in Russian uniforms lie on the sidewalk. Three of them have head injuries and blood has pooled around the body of a fourth, who has a jacket over his head and looks hoarse.
“He’s still alive,” a man said in Russian. “He gasps.”
A soldier points a rifle and fires two shots at the body, stops, then fires another. The body stops moving.
A person narrating on camera then turns to film a Russian infantry fighting vehicle with a “V” marking similar to that seen on Russian military equipment operated by many units in Ukraine. “A little trophy,” the man said.
Someone off camera says, “Slava Ukrayini!” — Glory to Ukraine, a patriotic greeting, and a bearded man walks into the frame and responds, “Glory to the heroes,” the standard response.
The exact time and date of the video, which appeared on a pro-Russian Telegram channel, is unclear. The location of the video matches that of a video posted on Twitter by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. This video, posted on April 2, shows a cursed Russian armored column. “The work of Ukrainian defenders in the Kyiv region,” reads the caption.
Another video of the scene, filmed from a different angle, appeared on the Telegram channel of UNIAN, a Ukrainian news agency, on March 30. It shows the same bearded man and the caption says the video shows the Georgian Legion, a group of volunteers fighting on the Ukrainian side, in an operation to rid the Kyiv region of Russian troops.
Asked about the video at a NATO press conference in Brussels, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “I haven’t seen it. I’ve heard of it. I want to assure you that the Ukrainian army respects the rules of war.”
Kuleba added, “There may be isolated incidents of breaches of these rules and they will definitely be investigated. But I wanted to check the date of this video because you should understand one thing now (or) you I’m sorry, but you don’t understand how it feels after seeing pictures of Bucha Talking to people who got away knowing that this person you know was raped four days in a row. And when she finally arrived in Kyiv, she was taken straight to the psychiatrist.”
“This is no excuse for those who violate the rules of war on either side or on the front line,” Kuleba continued. “But there are some things we just can’t understand.”