Ukraine confirms identity of executed soldier as 42-year-old sniper


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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Izium, Ukraine.
AP Photo/Leo Correa, FileUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Izium, Ukraine.

Zelensky praises Oleksander Igorovich Matsievsky for his 'bravery' and awards him the 'Hero of Ukraine' title

Ukraine on Sunday confirmed the identity of a Ukrainian soldier killed by a hail of bullets in an execution video that went viral on social media.

The video footage appeared to show a detained Ukrainian combatant standing in a shallow trench being shot dead by multiple automatic weapons after saying “Glory to Ukraine!” His identity had been unclear, with conflicting statements from the military, which initially named two different servicemen. 

But investigators from the SBU, Ukraine's secret service, confirmed him to be 42-year-old Oleksander Igorovich Matsievsky, a sniper with the 163rd battalion of the territorial defense brigade in the Chernihiv region of northeast Ukraine. His mother also confirmed her son's identity in a television report.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised Matsievsky’s “bravery” in his daily address, awarding the late soldier the “Hero of Ukraine” title. He added that Matsievsky was “a soldier, a person who will be remembered forever.”

According to the regional department of the northern section of the Ukrainian armed forces, Moldova-born Matsievsky was taken prisoner with four other Ukrainian soldiers in the Donetsk region.

The SBU said it identified him based on “communication with relatives of the deceased, analysis of photos and videos, and the forensic medical examination.”

"He is a true hero who, even in the face of death, has shown the whole world the character and how indomitable Ukrainians are," SBU chief Vasyl Malyouk said in a press release. He added that the Ukrainian security services were working to identify the Russian soldiers who "committed this bloody crime.”

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