Tymofiï Shatoura, a soldier shot in cold blood, made a martyr of the Ukrainian resistance

Tymofiï Shatoura, a soldier shot in cold blood, made a martyr of the Ukrainian resistance

“Film it”. A few words in Russian, the video starts for only a dozen seconds. time to see a man in Ukrainian military uniform, unarmed, smoking a cigarette. “Glory to Ukraine,” he blurted out in front of the camera, before several bursts of fire pierced him. Once the victim is on the ground, the man filming then shouts: “Die, bastard! “The episode sends shivers down the spine.

But who is this downed soldier? According to the Ukrainian army, this is Tymofiï Mykolayovych Chatura, 41-year-old soldier, of the 30th Mechanized Brigade. He had been missing since February 3, when he took part in the fighting near Bakhmout, in the Donbass. For the spokesperson for his brigade, the man from the Zhytomyr region (central-western Ukraine) had been mobilized since the end of December.

While no independent source could confirm the accuracy of this information, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights referred to an “authentic” video based on a “preliminary examination”. For its part, the Ukrainian army tempers and assures that its “final” identification will only be possible after its recovery and new expertise. If Moscow did not comment on the case, the boss of the paramilitary group Wagner questioned the veracity of the video on Telegram: “Is there the slightest confirmation that this video is not staged? »

The victim’s sister assures the BBC that he recognized his brother “He would definitely be able to stand up to the Russians like that.” At the top of the executive in kyiv, Tymofiï Mykolaïovych Shatoura is already erected as a hero and “revenge for our hero will be inevitable”. President Volodymyr Zelensky promised him on Monday to “find the assassins”.

“A figure of an ordinary citizen”

In the end, the identity of the victim matters little in this context of war. “It’s symbolic because it’s the first time that a name has been put on a hero. Before, we had the right to the Phantom of kyiv, to Azovstal defendersto the women of Boutcha… Here, we have the figure of an ordinary citizen, indisputable for the enemy”, analyzes for us Aurélien Duchêne, in charge of studies specializing in Russia for Euro Creative.

From there to see a communication strategy for kyiv? “We no longer need them in this war. With social networks, raising these soldiers to the rank of heroes is done automatically”, deciphers Denys Kolesnyk, specialist in information and influence warfare in Eastern Europe. An opinion shared by Aurélien Duchêne: “Unlike the Kremlin, which appoints its own heroes. kyiv does not choose them, but facilitates those born on social networks. »

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Through this video, it is also a new war of stories that is being played out between kyiv and Moscow, in particular with this slogan “Glory to Ukraine”. “It goes back to this idea of ​​the Ukrainian people, which the Russians consider non-existent. There is another dimension in these images. We were used to a more triumphant Ukraine in recent months, it had been a long time since we had seen them, on land, like here, ”explains the specialist in Russia.

“Glory to Ukraine is the literal translation. We should rather say: Long live Ukraine, adds Denys Kolesnyk. It is not a slogan neither offensive nor of war. Nothing can justify the execution of a prisoner and unarmed soldier. It is a new violation of the Geneva Convention by the Russian army. After the publication of the video, the head of Ukrainian diplomacy called for an investigation by the International Criminal Court. To avenge his hero under the eyes of the whole world.

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