Ukrainian politician censored by Twitter over video of ‘Russian soldier castrating prisoner’

·3-min read
A view shows a convoy of pro-Russian troops during Ukraine-Russia conflict outside the separatist-controlled town of Volnovakha in the Donetsk region, Ukraine March 12, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
A convoy of pro-Russian troops. (Reuters)

A Ukrainian politician has been censored by Twitter after she posted a video of a Russian soldier allegedly castrating a rival fighter.

On Friday, a clip emerged allegedly showing a Ukrainian prisoner of war being pinned down and mutilated.

The video was shared on a pro-Russian Telegram page, leading prominent figures within the Ukrainian government to describe the assailants as "cannibals" who enjoy "torture and murder".

Inna Sovsun, a member of the Ukraine parliament, claimed she was banned from Twitter after posting the graphic video.

Read more: Outrage as Russian Embassy in UK tweets call for Ukrainian fighters to be executed

A firefighter works at a site of a residential area damaged by a Russian missile strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine July 29, 2022.  Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A residential area damaged by a Russian missile strike in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region. (Reuters)

She wrote: “Twitter banned my profile today. Because I posted a video where a Russian soldier castrates a Ukrainian POW.

“@Twitter decided it was too cruel. But this is what happens. And deleting the video won't change that. People should know what #Russia is doing!"

The unverified footage shows a man in Ukrainian-style camouflage fatigues who is gagged with his hands tied behind his back.

As he lies on the floor, a man in a distinctive fringed hat and Russian uniform – featuring a "Z" patch associated with Russian troops – uses a box cutter to mutilate him while shouting insults.

At least two others who appear to be Russian soldiers can be seen in the video.

Investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat has told The Times the footage is genuine.

Read more: Red Cross requests access to Ukraine prison after POWS die

A woman walks past a destroyed market near a railway station in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in Donetsk, Ukraine July 22, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
A woman walks past a destroyed market near a railway station in Donetsk, Ukraine. (Reuters)

It was unclear when the footage was filmed, although it is believed the man in the black-fringed hat appeared in a broadcast in June by the pro-Russian media outlet RT.

In that clip, the apparent soldier can be seen carrying a Dragunov sniper rifle as he walks around the Azot chemical plant in the city of Severodonetsk after the Ukrainian withdrawal from the city.

In a post published on the RIA Novosti Telegram channel, the Russian news agency identified the man as part of the Russian army's Chechen “Akhmat” battalion.

On Saturday, the Russian embassy in the UK caused outrage after it tweeted a call for Ukrainian fighters to be executed in a "humiliating death".

It came after Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for an attack which killed 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war.

Watch: Zelenskyy condemns 'deliberate Russian war crime' after POW bombing

The Kyiv government has accused Russia of atrocities and brutality against civilians during the invasion and said it had identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes.

Russia has denied targeting civilians or involvement in war crimes and accused Ukraine of staging them to smear its forces.

The United States and more than 40 other countries agreed on 14 July to co-ordinate investigations into suspected war crimes in Ukraine, with the bulk of the claims concerning alleged actions by Russian forces and their proxies.

Russia announced plans to investigate war crimes it claimed had been committed by Ukrainian forces.