A Japanese newsreader Yumiko Matsuo was seen breaking down on live TV after reading about Russian President Vladimir Putin honouring soldiers who oversaw the Bucha massacre. The Ukrainian city has seen the worst of Russian forces. Over 500 civilian dead bodies were found burnt and mutilated.
Putin awarded the troops the honourary title of "Guards" for being "a role model" for the country's special military operations in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has accused the 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade of war crimes in the city of Bucha. Russian authorities had denied responsibility for the event at the time. Moscow claimed that the Ukrainian government faked the footage of the event and staged the killing.
During the award ceremony, Putin congratulated the troops in a signed letter for "protecting Russia's sovereignty". He said that the unit acted with "great heroism and courage."
The Japanese news anchor was seen reading about Putin bestowing honours on the brigade. She paused momentarily to fight back tears before composing herself and completing the news segment. "There are still many civilians stuck in the bunker," read Ms. Matsuo before stopping abruptly.
She interrupted the live broadcast by saying: "I'm so sorry, excuse me." After a moment, she continued reading: "The Ukrainian war has entered a new phase." The video has gone viral on Reddit and many users praised her courage and humility.
Putin's complete statement said, "through astute and bold actions during the special military operation in Ukraine, the unit's staff became a role model in fulfilling its military duty, valour, dedication, and professionalism."