Graphic Content: A Ukrainian soldier falls victim to a savage headshot by a Pro-Russian separatist. The two enemies trade gunfire on a frigid static front and the Ukrainian lingers to long. A separatist marksman makes him pay for this mistake by opening his skull in gruesome fashion.
The video begins with a Ukrainian soldier clearly engaging separatist’s lines covered by his own small redoubt. His head and weapon exposed, he appears to take repeated aimed shots at the enemy positions – possibly ducking down when a round snaps over his own head. He returns and reorients his weapon towards the camera and again begins to fire.
The crack from these rounds is now clearly audible and the shooter remains dangerously exposed. Two separatist rounds appear to fall just short of him, impacting the dirt just in front of his position. He doesn’t seem to notice that he’s taking fire and continues to linger above his cover. The third round hits his head in truly dramatic fashion. Part of the skull seems to just explode, bursting out and sending pieces flying everywhere – his body immediately slumps, and disappears into the trench. Another victim of the current “ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine has changed significantly over the past few years. What began as a mobile, territorially fluid, and highly lethal battlefield has drifted into a first world war reminiscent static front of endless shelling’s and counter-shelling’s. A slow trickle of dead soldiers and civilians continues even after several ceasefire agreements were struck (and broken) in 2014 and 2015 by both sides. The “Minsk II” agreement was finally reached in early 2015, but fighting clearly seems far from ending.
The agreement formalized temporary lines, set terms for prisoner exchanges, and provided for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the contested region. Both sides were supposed to remove heavy weapons from the front lines and prepare for the eventual reintegration of the separatist region. Russian troops would leave the contested provinces, and amnesty for separatists would be granted in exchange for local elections and more decentralized authority from the government in Kiev.
At present, a breach of the ceasefire agreement allegedly happens almost every night. Both sides claim the other initiates, and then immediately shells the other with mortars, rockets, and artillery. Exchanges of machine gun and sniper fire still sweep the non-man’s land along the front and between the adversary’s lines.