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A Russian serviceman patrols a destroyed residential area in the city of Sievierodonetsk, Donetsk Oblast, on July 12, 2022. Sievierodonetsk has been occupied by Russian troops since June 2022. (Getty Images)
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The Ukrainian soldier allegedly beheaded by Russian forces in Donetsk Oblast has been identified, Prosecutor General Andrii Kostin said on June 19.

Kostin reported the discovery of the soldier's body on June 18, saying it was yet another war crime and part of a "planned strategy" by the Kremlin.

The prosecutor general said his office had received information that Russian commanders had given orders "not to capture Ukrainian servicemen, but instead to kill them with inhuman cruelty – by beheading."

His post was accompanied by a blurred picture showing a military vehicle with a severed head on the hood.

The Kyiv Independent could not verify the photo.

In a June 19 post, Kostin said the soldier's identity had been established, but his name would not be released just yet "as procedures are underway for final confirmation of his data."

"We also identified Russian commanders potentially responsible for the beheading of the Ukrainian defender," he added.

"This fact is yet more proof that total contempt for international law and general morality is the state policy of the terrorist country Russia.

"Every world leader who shakes (Vladimir) Putin's hand should realize that he is shaking the hand of a person who tolerates barbaric killings."

Russia is accused of committing numerous war crimes during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including the execution of captive Ukrainian soldiers.

Earlier this month, Ukraine's Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets appealed to the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to investigate videos showing beatings, humiliation, and threats of Ukrainian prisoners of war by Russian soldiers reportedly in the Kharkiv direction.

"Unfortunately, such treatment of Ukrainian prisoners of war is not an exception to the rules, but a common tactic for the occupiers," Lubinets wrote.

Lubinets has previously appealed to the U.N. and the ICRC to investigate other crimes committed against Ukrainian prisoners of war, including the execution of at least five POWs in Avdiivka in February.

As of March 2024, Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office collected pretrial information on over 128,000 victims of war crimes.

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