Russia launches probe into video showing beheading of Ukrainian
Moscow, Apr 13 (EFE).- The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said Thursday it was opening an investigation into a video shared online that allegedly shows a Ukrainian prisoner of war being beheaded with a knife by a Russian soldier.
“In order to assess the reliability of these materials and make an appropriate decision, they were sent to the investigating authorities,” the office said in a statement.
The video contains images that allegedly show the decapitation of a Ukrainian soldier, according to the office.
The investigation comes after Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Wednesday the video needed to be verified.
“In the world of fakes we live in, the authenticity of the footage must be checked,” he stressed, describing the quality of the video as “terrible.”
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is also investigating the authenticity of the video to identify the perpetrators of the purported beheading, blamed on the Russian military by Kyiv.
A former commander of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group who fled to Norway in January said fighters from the private military company were behind the beheading.
“Ex-Wagner fighter Andrei Medvedev, who fled to Norway, recognized the voices of his colleagues in the video,” Vladimir Osechkin, the founder of Russian dissident website Gulagu.net, wrote on Telegram.
Wagner’s boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, however, denied that his units – currently fighting in Ukraine’s Bakhmut – were linked to the soldier’s beheading.
Earlier on the day, Norway expelled 15 Russian embassy employees in Oslo, accusing them of espionage.
“Russia currently poses the greatest intelligence threat to Norway,” Norwegian foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt said in a statement.
“We take this very seriously and are now implementing measures to counter Russian intelligence activities in our country. We will not allow Russian intelligence officers to operate under diplomatic cover in Norway,” Huitfeldt added.