THIS is the horrifying moment a Ukrainian soldier’s head was reportedly put on a spike after being decapitated by Russian troops in a sick attack.

The grisly footage purporting to be a member of Putin’s army beheading a Ukrainian prisoner of war has been denounced by Kyiv as a “war crime”.

The timing of the terrifying clip, which appeared on social media, cannot be verified – but the alleged battlefield murder is believed to be from 2022.

The barbaric video showed a masked man in camouflage using a knife to cut off the head of an apparent PoW with Ukrainian insignia.

The victim pleads for mercy repeatedly uttering the words “it hurts” and “stop” before he is killed.

A voice from another allegedly Russian fighter taunts the killer to behead and break the spine of the stricken man.

The man said: “Send it to Kyiv.

“Cut it off, break the spine.

“Do it, do it, do it, do it.

It finishes with the bloodied severed head of the alleged PoW held up to the camera.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed those behind the attack would be held accountable.

He said: “There is something that no one in the world can ignore – how easily these beasts kill.

“We are not going to forget anything.

“Neither are we going to forgive the murderers.

“There will be legal responsibility for everything.

“The defeat of terror is necessary.”

In the clip, the killer wore a white ribbon often used for identification of Russian forces in occupied Ukraine. 

The video does not appear to have been recorded in winter or the Ukrainian spring – with green leaves visible.

If the terrifying footage is proved genuine, it is likely to be from last year.

A glimpse of the aggressor’s face suggested he had Asiatic features.

Putin’s fighting force in Ukraine comprises men from multiple ethnic groups in the Urals, Siberia and the Russian Far East, as well as ethnic Russians.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, admitted the footage was “horrific” but questioned whether it was genuine. 

He said: “The footage of the beheading of a soldier is horrific.

“Of course it is terrible. 

“First it is necessary to check whether it is credible, and then, of course, there may be an opportunity to verify whether this is true, where it happened and by which side.”

Oleg Tsaryov, a pro-Moscow Ukrainian businessman and politician, also condemned the act.

Tsaryov said: “Cutting off the head of a captive is a crime. 

“Filming it on camera is idiotic. 

“I cannot find a definition for those who post all this on the net. 

“All I know is that if there is no legal punishment for this, there will be no state.”

His claims were bolstered by Dymtro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, who said the attack was worse than anything carried out by the terrorist group, ISIS.

Kuleba said: “A horrific video of Russian troops decapitating a Ukrainian prisoner of war is circulating online.

“It’s absurd that Russia, which is worse than ISIS, is presiding over the UNSC.

“Russian terrorists must be kicked out of Ukraine and the UN and be held accountable for their crimes.”

The deplorable scene comes after another gruesome video appeared online on April 8 that was purportedly filmed by Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group.

The clip showed the beheaded corpses of two Ukrainian soldiers lying on the ground next to a destroyed military vehicle.

During the footage, the person filming can be heard in Russian: “[The armoured vehicle] got f**ked by a mine.

“They killed them, someone came up to them, they came up to them and cut their heads off.”

The dead soldiers also appear to have had their hands cut off.

According to Russian social media accounts, the video was claimed to be shot near Bakhmut.

The eastern Ukrainian town has been the scene of the war’s fiercest fighting for many months.