HomeTop StoriesZelensky honors Ukrainian soldier shot after saying 'Glory to Ukraine'

Zelensky honors Ukrainian soldier shot after saying ‘Glory to Ukraine’

(Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday posthumously bestowed the honor of “Hero of Ukraine” on a soldier who defiantly said “Glory to Ukraine” before being shot dead in a video posted to social media.

The Ukrainian army had previously confirmed on its Telegram channel the soldier’s identity as Oleksandr Matsievskiy, a sniper with a unit from the northern Chernihiv region.

“Today I have awarded soldier Oleskandr Matsievskiy the title of Hero of Ukraine,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

“A man all Ukrainians will know. A man who will be remembered forever. For his courage, for his faith in Ukraine and for his ‘Glory to Ukraine’.”

The apparently unarmed man in a uniform with the Ukrainian flag insignia on his arm was shown in a video smoking a cigarette and saying “Slava Ukraini” – or “Glory to Ukraine” – before he was apparently shot dead. An off-camera voice then says in Russian, “That one, bitch.”

Germany’s Bild newspaper said the reporter spoke to Matsievekiy’s mother, Paraska, who was quoted as saying, “He stood there unarmed, but proud to be Ukrainian. He was always incredibly brave. At the moment, the only weapon he had was himself. could defend was to say: ‘Slava Ukraini!'”

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The term “Glory to Ukraine” is more than a century old, but it came into common use after Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet government.

It has been widely used as a greeting during the war, always drawing the response “Heroyam Slava” (“Glory to the heroes”).

(Reporting by Ron Popeski and Nick Starkov; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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