The name of the soldier that was shot dead by Russian invaders for shouting “Glory to Ukraine” (“Slava Ukraini“) is Oleksandr Matsievskyi, and not Tymofiy Shadura, as was reported earlier, Regional Directorate of the “North” Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine’s Army is convinced.
He was a sniper, a soldier of the fire support company of the 163rd battalion of the Territorial Defense of Nizhyn, 119th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He was killed in the Soledar area on December 30. The body was returned to the government-controlled territory, identified, and buried.
The relevant message was posted on the Facebook page of the “North” Directorate on March 8, two days after the video appeared on social media and a day after the Armed Forces preliminarily identified the deceased soldier as Tymofiy Shadura of the 30th Mechanized Brigade.
The commanders said that on December 30, on the outskirts of Soledar, Matsievskyi and four other soldiers were engaged in a counterattack with superior enemy forces while moving. At approximately 12 o’clock, visual contact and communication with them were lost. Reinforcements were unable to break through to their position due to continuous mortar fire and heavy enemy small arms fire.
“We do not know the details of that battle. We don’t know who died and how, and we don’t know how Oleksandr was captured. Unfortunately, there are no witnesses left; all of them are dead or missing. As for the video [showing the scene of the execution in captivity]: Oleksandr’s mother, his son Mykhailo and the soldiers of his unit recognized their comrade in these shots,” Directorate North’s report says.
Until February 2022, Oleksandr worked his regular job, Novynarnia reports. When Russia invaded in February 2022, he joined the Nizhyn Training Center and attempted to enroll in the army, but was unable to join immediately. He helped build fortifications, kept watch at the checkpoint, prepared Molotov cocktails, etc.
On 11 March 2022, he was enlisted in the Nizhyn territorial defense battalion. Oleksandr studied military affairs diligently and was assigned as a sniper. In December, when the battalion was about to deploy to the east, Oleksandr did not tell his mother that he was going to the active combat zone because he did not want her to worry. When he said goodbye to his mother, he thanked her for giving birth to him.
On December 29, he called his mother, and it was their last conversation. After Sashko said: “Mom, I will never surrender!” his mother Ms. Demchuk realized that her son was at the front.
Later, Oleksandr did not call; his phone did not answer. It was only on the evening of January 7 that she received a message: “The subscriber is back online.”
In this video by Bild, Oleksandr’s mother shares the reactions of the family to seeing the video of his execution by the Russian invaders.
Video of the executed Ukrainian POW
On 6 March 2023, a video of a Ukrainian prisoner of war being shot after he shouted “Glory to Ukraine” appeared on social media. Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets sent the video to Ukraine’s international partners, the Security Service opened a case, and Ukrainian Presidnet Zelenskyy called for the killers to be found.
The identity of the soldier shown in the video has been contested. Earlier, the 30th Separate Mechanized Brigade claimed on Facebook that the Ukrainian soldier who was shot dead by Russians for shouting “Glory to Ukraine” (Slava Ukraini) is Tymofiy Shadura. Tymofiy Shadura had been missing since 3 February 2023, after military action near the town of Bakhmut. The body of the soldier is currently in the temporarily occupied territory. However, unlike the “North” Directorate, the brigade assumed it was him, but was not confident of this.
The phrase “Slava Ukrayini” is a Ukrainian greeting that translates to “Glory to Ukraine.” It has a significant historical and cultural significance in Ukraine. During the Hetmanate period of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky, a similar greeting was used – “Slava Ukrayini!” “Hetmanu Slava!”
The use of the phrase “Slava Ukrayini” is a common way for Ukrainians to express their patriotism and love for their country. However, in the current political situation between Ukraine and Russia, the phrase has also become a symbol of resistance against Russian aggression and occupation.