The separatist military commander of the east Ukraine town of Gorlivka is shown, on a new video of his own making, executing two civilian hostages. Russian citizen Igor Bezler — nomme de guerre “Bes” or “Demon” — is shown on the video threatening that he will shoot eight captured military hostages unless the acting president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchinov, frees a captured Russian agent.
Before giving the order to fire, “Demon” complains that he has waited three days for the hostage exchange and cannot wait any longer. Therefore, Citizens Budnik and Vasiushenko will be executed, he declares. “Demon” then gives the order to fire as he walks away casually. The video records the shots being fired and shows the victims falling to the floor. [Note: the link points to a story about the video that includes an embed of the video itself. It’s no longer viewable, however, as it’s been removed from YouTube.] [Update: the video is viewable via the linked article, where someone has posted a new YouTube address in the comments section. While it is not nearly as graphic as the standard violence you’d see in a Hollywood film, viewer discretion is still advised].
We do not know if the execution is real or fake. Experts must decide that question. The important point is that “Demon” intended to use this action to intimidate Ukrainian officials.
Turchinov rejected “Demon’s” ultimatum and demanded that he be tried as a war criminal.
That “Demon” has been recorded, in an intercepted call, ordering the execution of murdered Gorlivka city council member Volodymir Rybak on April 17 lends credibility to the view that “Demon’s” You Tube execution is real. See this piece I wrote for the Kyiv Post for more specifics.
We know the details of Bezler’s background: he’s a Russian citizen and a veteran fighter in Russia’s wars in Chechnya, Georgia, and Transnistria. Although Putin denies Russian fighters are in east Ukraine or claims that he has no control over them, they are clearly doing his bidding. “Demon’s” video of a real or staged execution shows the extreme brutality and sadism of Putin’s henchmen.
And the world pays little attention.