THE heartbroken mother of a Ukrainian prisoner killed by Russian troops after declaring “honor to Ukraine” insists Vladimir Putin should be tried for war crimes against her son.
Harrowing footage showed unarmed Oleksandr Matsievskyi, 42, riddled with machine gun bullets after taking a last drag on his cigarette.
Just before he was shot by Russian soldiers, Matsievskyi pronounced “Slava Ukraini,” which translates to “Glory to Ukraine.”
Oleksandr’s devastated mother Paraska Demchuck, 67, told how she watched the footage – only to realize the brave soldier was her son.
Paraska, from Nizhyn in northern Ukraine, said she cried out in shock after seeing her only son’s final moments.
She told The Sun: “I was told in January that Oleksandr was missing.
“I was just told that there was a fight with Russians and he disappeared.
“His body was returned in early February as part of an exchange of fallen soldiers, as I first learned of his death.
“And then, like heaven, this video popped up. And I called “Sascha, Sascha” – my name for him.
“It all happened like an epiphany – I wanted to know how my son died, and then I saw it.”
Oleksandr and four colleagues were fighting with a larger Russian contingent near Soledar when he was captured on December 30.
He was filmed standing upright in a shallow ditch smoking before being shot multiple times.
The cold-blooded shooting of electrician Oleksandr is now the subject of a war crimes investigation.
Paraska added: “When I saw his look in the video, I realized there was nothing he could do. He understood that this was the end.
“We once agreed that if he was wounded and bleeding to death, he would call me and tell me three times, ‘Yes, yes, yes!’
“But in the video he said: ‘Honour to Ukraine!’ And God gave me the opportunity to hear those words.”
Oleksandr, who was described by his mother as hardworking, principled and tenacious, enlisted for combat right at the start of the war.
She said: “Sasha said he couldn’t sit back.
“His grandfather defended his homeland during World War II. So he went to war without hesitation.
“The last time I spoke to him was on December 29 – he called me and said to pick up a package of a new uniform he had been given.
“He never had to wear it.”
President Zelenskyy posthumously awarded the sniper the Hero of Ukraine medal and presented Paraska with her son’s Hero of Ukraine award at a ceremony in Kiev.
In a late-night speech, he described Oleksandr as “a man that all Ukrainians will know. A man who will be remembered forever.”
“PUTIN SHOULD BE JUSTIFIED”
In Oleksandr’s hometown of Nizhyn there are plans to name one of the streets after him. They also want to erect a monument to the brave soldier.
Paraska today welcomed the arrest warrant for Putin on alleged war crimes charges – and said her son’s death should be added to the list.
The International Criminal Court accuses the Russian tyrant of “unlawfully deporting” children from Ukraine – a war crime under the Geneva Convention.
But Paraska hopes that one day Putin will be tried for the murder of her son.
She said: “My son has become a symbol of the untameableness of the Ukrainian people and I am very proud of that.
“We hope and believe that one day he will bear responsibility for all war crimes committed, including the murder of Oleksandr.
“He’s a war criminal and should be brought to justice.”
An investigation by The Sun into Ukraine’s missing children in September found thousands of children were deported during Putin’s invasion.
Ukraine’s human rights chief Dmytro Lubinets said 16,226 children had been deported and the country managed to bring back only 308 of them.
The court in The Hague has now declared that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the crimes.
Ukraine hailed the arrest warrant as a “historic decision”.
Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of atrocities during its disastrous year-long invasion of Ukraine.
Despite the arrest warrant, Putin broke cover today when he was spotted in Crimea.
The Russian president appeared in Ukraine’s disputed territory of Crimea, illegally annexed by Putin’s forces in 2014.
In the short clip posted on Russian social media network VK, Putin, 70, can be seen walking stiffly with his head bowed.
He was shown at the opening of an art school and children’s center in the port city of Sevastopol.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7664505/son-executed-russian-troops-ukraine/ My unarmed son was executed by Russian troops after declaring “Glory to Ukraine” – Putin should be tried for war crimes