Find the latest breaking news and information on the top stories, science, business, entertainment, politics, and more.

‘Forever remembered’: Ukraine leader honours executed soldier

A man in uniform with a Ukrainian flag badge on his arm was shown smoking a cigarette and saying “Glory to Ukraine” before being shot dead.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posthumously bestowed the “Hero of Ukraine” award on a soldier who defiantly said “Glory to Ukraine” before being shot dead in a volley of gunfire, an incident seen in a video posted to social media.

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

“Today I have awarded soldier Oleksandr Matsievskyy the title of Hero of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address on Sunday.

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

‘Incredibly brave’

The man in a uniform with the Ukrainian flag insignia on his arm was shown smoking a cigarette and saying “Slava Ukraini” before being shot dead. A voice off camera then says in Russian, “That b**ch.”

According to the German newspaper Bild, the reporter spoke to Matsievekiy’s mother, Paraska, who said: “He stood there unarmed but proud to be Ukrainian. He was always incredibly brave. At this point, the only weapon with which to defend himself was to say, ‘Slava Ukraini.’”

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 and always attracted the response “Heroyam Slava” – “Glory to the heroes”.