Several Russian soldiers went into Konotop, in northeastern Ukraine, to urge local residents to surrender. Tensions are rising between Ukraine and Russia with human rights abuses on both sides.
Now, a video circulating on social media appears to show a Russian soldier holding up grenades after threatening to raze a city in northeastern Ukraine unless it surrenders.
The soldier wading through a jeering crowd shouting “shame” with a hand grenade in each hand above his head.
At one point he is jostled by the angry Ukrainian civilians who seem oblivious to the deadly weapons in his hand.
Ukrainians are heard cursing at the soldiers, telling them to “get out” and shouting “glory to Ukraine.”
One person swore at the soldier and reportedly said: “Don’t walk around showing your grenade off.”
According to a video posted on social media, Konotop’s mayor, Artem Semenikhin, told his city’s residents that Russian troops had delivered an ultimatum: to surrender or the city would be destroyed with artillery strikes.
“They offered us a choice: either we surrender, or they destroy the place with their artillery,” he said.
He asked those assembled if they wanted to fight for Konotop.
“You say yes then we will fight. Who’s for fighting?” Semenikhin said, to which the crowd replied: “Fight! Of course!”
“I am for fighting! Listen, we should take the decision all together because the artillery is aimed at us already.”
According to a post on the Sumy Regional Military Administration’s Telegram channel:
“In Konotop, the occupiers came to ‘negotiate’ with the city authorities. Mayor Artem Semenikhin said, the Russian military arrived and told him to give the city under their control. They threatened to bring artillery to the city. They were sent to the right place. At the same time, hostile vehicles were surrounded by citizens shouting ‘Shame!'”
The incident came as Russia escalated its attacks on urban areas in Ukraine as the war entered the seventh day.
Video of the #Russian delegation that came to the town of Konotop to “negotiate” (i.e. threatened to level the city).
I don’t think I need to translate the reaction of the residents. pic.twitter.com/UIiJfeBLXe
— Michael A. Horowitz (@michaelh992) March 2, 2022