Russian soldier holds two grenades in the air as he walks among Ukrainians demanding they surrender

This is the moment a Russian soldier held two grenades in the air as he walked among Ukrainians demanding that they surrender. 

Footage, filmed in Konotop, shows the Russian serviceman holding what appear to be two grenades above his head as he walked through a crowd of furious Ukrainian citizens shouting ‘shame’. 

Others told Moscow’s men, ‘don’t walk around showing your grenade off’, while others jostled with the soldier, seemingly oblivious to the danger of the grenades.  

The soldier was in the city, on Ukraine’s south coast, to negotiate a Ukrainian surrender with residents after encircling the city.

He reportedly spoke with Konotop Mayor Artem Semenikhin and presented an ultimatum – surrender or fight.  

Semenikhin, speaking from the city centre after the Russian soldiers had left, could be heard asking residents which option they wanted, to which the Ukrainians responded: ‘Fight, of course.’ 

It comes as Russian forces on Thursday morning captured their first major city in Ukraine with Kherson – a regional capital of 300,000 people on the Black Sea – now under the control of Putin’s forces. 

Russian troops have encircled  major cities Chernihiv, in the north west, and Mariupol, in the south, as well as Kyiv and Kharkiv, Ukraine’s two largest cities – though all remained under Ukrainian control by Thursday morning. 

Konotop Mayor Artem Semenikhin spoke to residents after Russian forces left the city centre, asking them whether they wanted to surrender or fight. 

In a rousing speech, Semenikhin said: ‘They have given us an ultimatum – if we start resisting they will pull the city to pieces with artillery. You say yes then we will fight. Who’s for fighting?’ 

‘I am for fighting! Listen, we should take the decision all together because the artillery is aimed at us already.’

The crowd can be heard telling Semenikhin: ‘Fight, of course’.  

Overnight Russian forces captured Kherson. Igor Kolykhaiev, the city’s mayor, said in an update around 1am that ‘armed visitors’ had stormed a council meeting and imposed new rules including a strict curfew and urged citizens to follow them. 

But it was far from clear whether Ukrainian forces had totally withdrawn, with the UK MoD saying Thursday the situation is ‘unclear’. 

After failing to swiftly take major cities and to subdue Ukraine’s military, US officials have said for days that they believe Russia will instead seek to encircle cities, cutting off supply and escape routes.

Intelligence suggests Vladimir Putin’s men will then attack the cities with a combined force of armour, ground troops and engineers. 

Kyiv and Kharkiv, Ukraine’s two largest cities, remained under a heavy bombing campaign overnight with missiles striking civilian areas.

Among the targets was a train station in the Ukrainian capital being used to evacuate people from the city and as a shelter for those who cannot or have chosen not to leave. 

Chernihiv, in the north west, and Mariupol, in the south, also remain under Ukrainian control despite being all-but surrounded by Russian forces and coming under heavy bombardment. 

The mayor of Mariupol said Wednesday evening that Russian artillery had levelled large parts of the city in what amounted to ‘genocide’.

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