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Following an independent investigation, Ukrainian authorities have confirmed the murder of two teenagers by Russian troops in the occupied city of Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Berdiansk City Military Administration reported on the Telegram messaging app.
The Russian troops killed two 16-year-olds, Tihran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov, in a shootout in Berdiansk, Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said earlier on June 25.
Lubinets also released a video self-filmed by Ohannisian in which he has a rifle in his hand and says “(The plan is to kill) two (people) for certain. That’s it, it’s death, guys. Goodbye! Glory to Ukraine!”
Because the boys were killed on Russian-occupied territory, much still remains unknown about the exact circumstances of their deaths.
Russian occupying forces in Berdiansk charged the two boys back in May of conspiring with Ukraine's Armed Forces and with alleged plans to sabotage railways that Russia uses to supply its military in Ukraine.
Prior to the charges in September 2022, Russian troops abducted Ohannisian for five days, beating and torturing him to force a confession that he was preparing to sabotage Russian military logistics.
"This is a tragedy for our entire country. Brave guys, the pride of the nation. We sympathize with the loss of Tihran and Mykyta's relatives and friends," the Berdiansk City Military Administration wrote.