The clip supposedly shows Ukrainians arguing about what they should do with the young soldier.
A video circulating on social media amid Russia's ongoing "special military operation" on Ukraine appears to show a lone young Russian soldier crying while surrounded by a group of Ukrainian civilians. The 21-seconds-long video shared by NEXTA on Twitter supposedly features citizens of a Ukrainian town berating the soldier for his presence while he sits with his head bowed and his hands joined as if in prayer. "In the #Sumy region, locals communicate with one of the occupants. Russia is driving very young children to war. A photo for mothers of #Russian servicemen. Let them know what awaits their children in an invading war. This guy had luck," reads the caption of the video that's been retweeted over 2600 times.
Another Twitter user, who goes by @random_moomoo, tweeted a translation of what is being said in the video so as to provide a little more context. According to them, the angry Ukrainians were venting their anger on the sobbing soldier, saying: "Your a**hole fu**ing Putin, and you fools were sent to go here. But no one will tolerate you here, you are lying [a harsh word, implying the dead bodied] out there [on the ground] (inaudible) we don't need a Russian spring here, we'll figure it out ourselves." @random_moomoo added that while there were a lot of swearing and words used that they couldn't "translate directly, but the context is clear here."
Meanwhile, @Imposter_Edits provided a different perspective by sharing a compilation of videos of the events leading to and after the encounter. The compilation begins with a video showing a single Russian military vehicle in the middle of a deserted road while the sound of gunfire is heard all around. It then shows a group approaching the truck and supposedly capturing the young Russian soldier seen in the other video. Surrounding the weeping soldier, the group argued as they attempt to decide what they should do with the young man.
A lot of swearing and words being used I can't translate directly, but the context is clear here— Alex the K-showbiz enthusiast (@random_moomoo) February 26, 2022
"If they are beasts, it doesn't mean we are," one individual supposedly argues while another agrees that they should just let him free. However, they face fierce opposition from others, with one even suggesting that they should "shoot him on sight." Several others attempt to reason with their fellow citizens, whose anger is understandable given the severity of Russia's assault on Ukraine. "Why for?" asks one person while another adds: "And how do we differ from them then?" "How does it make us better than them? Because it won't!" chimes in a third individual.
One man gently approaches the weeping soldier sitting on a short flight of steps and kindly asks him: "That's it, are you okay here? Tell us where were you heading?" On social media, Twitter users shared their thoughts on the harrowing visuals featured in the video. "He's just following orders. All the Russian soldiers should just put down their arms and walk back to Mother Russia. This is a senseless conflict brought on by a crazy madman, with a very bruised ego to assuage his egomaniacal dreams of becoming an absolute despot," tweeted @davenewworld_2.
"It’s a nightmare ... This cannot be explained with words."— The Associated Press (@AP) March 1, 2022
Living in fear below ground, a family in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, struggles to cope as the Russian military pounds civilian targets there.
Full story: https://t.co/2thIWxhJzN pic.twitter.com/YDmhUAwvB7
"I understand why Ukrainians are furious. I can't imagine the depth of their anger, but I get it. That said, showing prisoners being abused is a terrible idea. The goal is to get them to surrender, and mistreating them is both wrong and self-defeating. We can argue about the morality and nature of the abuse. Regardless, it’s counterproductive to show this stuff if you’re trying to get Russian soldiers to surrender," tweeted @Pokes86.