On the evening of Saturday, June 24, news about the murder of two teenagers in Berdyansk began to circulate on social media alongside a video allegedly recorded by one of the youths, Tigran. In the footage, Tigran can be seen holding an assault rifle and saying, “That's it. It is death, guys. Farewell! Glory to Ukraine!”
The fact that the Ukrainian teenagers, who had been hunted by Russian forces in the city of Berdyansk ,were killed by the occupation authorities was confirmed by human rights activists, the Berdyansk City Military Administration, and Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets. The occupation authorities in the Zaporizhzhia region have also acknowledged the incident occurred.
Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, has made a strong demand for the need for Russia to be held accountable for the killing of the two teenagers in. He said that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
“In the temporarily occupied city of Berdyansk, two underage boys were murdered by the occupiers due to their pro-Ukrainian stance,” Lubinets shared via Telegram.
“Two 16-year-old boys became heroes. The last words of one of them were: “Glory to Ukraine.” There are not enough words to describe the feeling of pride for the young men who resisted the occupiers,” he added.
On June 24, Tigran Hovhannisyan and Nikita Khanganov, both born in 2006, confronted representatives of the occupiers and reportedly killed a Russian military officer and a collaborating policeman.
The boys and their families had previously faced persecution for their pro-Ukrainian stance. Tigran Hovhannisyan was later abducted from his home. He endured brutal interrogation and torture, including the use of electric shocks.
When the situation came to light, the European Parliament demanded the release of the boys to Ukrainian-controlled territory, but the Russians heartlessly refused, in spite of various efforts to bring the boys back home.
Vladimir Rogov, a representative of the Russian proxy in the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, also confirmed the deaths of the teenagers.
“Thanks to the coordinated and swift actions of law enforcement agencies, the terrorists responsible for the killings were apprehended and eliminated. It has now been revealed that one of them was Tigran Ohannisyan, who had previously been detained for engaging in anti-Russian activities,” Rogov stated in his official announcement.
Olha Reshetylova, a representative of the Media Initiative for Human Rights (MHR), shared on Facebook that a few days prior, an investigator with an armed convoy had arrived to take custody of the boys, but they managed to escape.
“The day before their tragic deaths, the boys had an altercation with the occupation police. Just half an hour before the investigator called their parents to deliver the devastating news, Tigran's mother had spoken to him. The boy seemed calm and mentioned that he was out with Mykyta, contemplating how to celebrate his upcoming birthday. Nikita was supposed to turn 17 today,” Reshetylova said.
According to her, the Ukrainian investigative authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the murder of the children.
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