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Russian troops have been described as 'inhuman cannibals' after a horrifying video emerged which appeared to show a Ukrainian soldier being pinned down and castrated.
The clip was shared on a pro-Russian Telegram page, leading prominent figures within the Ukrainian government to describe the assailants as "cannibals" who enjoy "torture and murder".
The unverified footage shows a man in Ukrainian-style camouflage fatigues who is gagged with his hands tied behind his back.
As he lies on the floor, a man in a distinctive fringed hat and Russian uniform - featuring a "Z" patch associated with Russian troops - uses a box cutter to mutilate him while shouting insults.
At least two others who appear to be Russian soldiers can be seen in the video.
Investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat has told The Times the footage is genuine.
Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the President's office, tweeted that the clip showed the Russian soldiers enjoyed "torture and murder."
"Russian propagandists were delighted to show how a group of inhumans destroyed a captive. All the world needs to understand: Russia is a country of cannibals who enjoy torture and murder.
"But the fog of war will not help to avoid the punishment of the executioners. We identify everyone. We will get everyone."
Senior adviser to the US Congress, Paul Massaro, also reacted to the videom calling for the west to give Ukraine long-range missiles to "put an end to this crime against humanity."
He added that Russian war crimes in Ukraine are "an insult to all humanity."
It was not clear when the footage was filmed, although it is believed the man in the black-fringed hat appeared in a broadcast in June by the pro-Russian media outlet RT.
In that clip, the apparent soldier can be seen carrying a Dragunov sniper rifle as he walks around the Azot chemical plant in the city of Severodonetsk after the Ukrainian withdrawal from the city.
In a post that was published on the RIA Novosti Telegram channel, the Russian news agency identified the man as part of the Chechen “Akhmat” battalion of the Russian army.
In May, around 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered in what was the last southern stronghold of Mariupol.
Among those who have been taken are two British men who have been sentenced to death.
Aiden Aslin, 28, from Nottinghamshire, Shaun Pinner, 48, from Bedfordshire, were charged with being foreign mercenaries having been captured in Mariupol in April.
Despite both having Ukrainian citizenship, Russian forces charged the pair and issued the death penalty.
Russian authorities have said their captives will be executed by firing squad, and preparations have been made for the sentence to be carried out.
More prisoners were taken from the Azovstal steel plant which was taken in mid-May.
Thousands of workers and soldiers were sent to a former prison colony located 55 miles north of the city.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said it had gathered personal information from the soldiers and registered them as prisoners of war as they left the steelworks, so as to ensure that they would be given humane treatment under the Geneva Conventions.
The ICRC also told Russia it must be given “immediate access to all POWs in all places where they are held.”