Russian troops accused of impaling Ukrainian prisoner’s head on stick

A photo allegedly taken last month also appears to show two severed hands, as Vladimir Putin’s forces face fresh atrocity accusations

Service members of pro-Russian troops drive an armoured vehicle through Popasna, where a fresh atrocity is claimed to have been committed Credit: ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO /REUTERS

Russian forces have been accused of fresh atrocities after a picture emerged showing a severed head impaled on a stick.

The photo was allegedly taken last month in the Russian-occupied town of Popasna in the Donbas. It shows a low-slung house with an unkempt garden. A sign on a wall says “21 Nagorna Street”.

To one side of the garden is a stake with a decomposed head impaled on it. Behind it, on smaller stakes, are two severed hands.

The picture is believed to have been taken in late July. The Ukrainian army retreated from Popasna in early May. In July Russian forces captured all of Luhansk province, including Popasna.

“There is nothing human about Russians. We are fighting with non-humans,” said Serhiy Haidai, the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk which Russia had captured by July.

There has been no comment from the Russian authorities.

Russia and its allies have been accused of multiple war crimes since they invaded Ukraine on Feb 24.

A mass grave behind a church in the town of Bucha on April 3

Last month a video showed a Russian soldier castrating a Ukraine prisoner with a knife.

Russians troops have been accused of murdering and raping hundreds of people in commuter towns north of Kyiv.

Images of Bucha in particular shocked the world, with photographs of dead bodies lying in the street and mass graves left behind after the Russians fled.

Moscow has also bombed civilian targets, killed prisoners of war and conducted kidnappings and forced deportations.