The Islamic State group released a video Monday night through its social media channels purporting to show the beheading of a Russian intelligence officer in Syria.
IS claims the video shows the brutal murder of Capt. Yevgeny Petrenko, 36, whom the group accuses of infiltrating Islamist organizations in Russia’s North Caucus region.
The Russian Defense Ministry reportedly has denied one of its service members was captured and killed by IS jihadists, according to Russian media.
The man identifying himself as Petrenko in the video claims he was sent by the Russian government to infiltrate the highest levels of IS leadership and accuses the Russian Federal Security Service of abandoning him.
“One of my orders was to gain access to Omar al-Shishani or to his circle. But during this I was discovered and arrested by the security services of the caliphate,” the man said.
Shishani was a Georgian Chechen jihadist and a former commander of the IS group in Syria. He is believed to have been killed in 2016.
Some IS supporters claim the video was shot in Syria, but its authenticity is in question.
Russia has been waging a military operation since September 2015 against the IS group in Syria on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
IS has lost about two-thirds of the land it captured in Iraq and Syria. The jihadist group is seen as having resorted to producing a larger amount of execution videos in an apparent attempt to project its power.