The town of Konotop in northeastern Ukraine was the scene of a tense clash between locals and Russian troops, who the mayor said threatened to destroy the town if they did not surrender .
Footage verified by The New York Times shows several Russian soldiers walking through an angry crowd accompanied by the city’s mayor, Artem Semenikhin, near the Konotop city council building. One of the soldiers held a grenade in each hand above his head as he walked. The footage appeared to first surface online on Wednesday, but it was unclear when the events actually unfolded.
“Shame,” several people shouted at the soldiers. “Don’t walk around showing your grenade,” one person said, using profanity. The Russian soldiers eventually left.
Another video showed Mr Semenikhin standing on a concrete planter outside the city council building and addressing the crowd. He said Russian soldiers told him they would “raze the town with their artillery” if the residents did not surrender. He then asked the crowd if they wanted to surrender or fight. The response was overwhelmingly in favor of fighting.
“Me too,” Mr. Semenikhin said. “But the decision must be unanimous because their artillery is already trained on us.”