On Saturday Matsievskyi was commemorated with the public unveiling of a statue in his memory in the center of his northern Ukraine hometown in the city of Nizhyn.

Though the Geneva Convention guarantees that prisoners of war (POWs) will be safeguarded and treated well, Matsievskyi was apparently forced to dig his own grave before the infamous video begins with the man shouting “Slava Ukraini,” the phrase that expresses Ukraine’s defiance in the face of Russia's February 2022 invasion. In response the Russian troops opened fire on him and can be heard shouting words to the effect of “Die, bitch.”

According to public sources, Matsievskyi was born in Chisinau, Moldova where he lived until his mid-twenties before moving to Ukraine where he resided until 2022, when the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.

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In response to Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, Matsievskyi joined the Ukrainian Army and was assigned to the 30th Mechanized Brigade. At the height of the Battle of Bakhmut, Matsievskyi was assigned to the area where he was eventually captured.

He was 42 when he died and his body has not been recovered.

According to Anton Gerashchenko, who led the project, the building of monuments honoring heroes is an important action to commemorate those who lived valiantly while also seeking to inspire others.

The statue’s construction was organized by the Ukrainian Institute for the Future and wholly financed by Ukrainian donors, including SkyFall, First Private Brewery, Astarta Datagroup, Agroholding, WOG gas station chain, and others.

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