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Russian soldier pleads guilty to murder of Ukrainian civilian during first days of invasion

A 21-year-old Russian soldier has been found guilty of killing an unarmed civilian in the first trial since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Most important points:

Shishimarin pleaded guilty to shooting a civilian who walked down the sidewalk. He faces life for the crime 40 more cases are being prepared by Ukrainian prosecutors against Russians involved in the war

Sargent Vadim Shishimarin faces life imprisonment for shooting a 62-year-old Ukrainian man in the head through an open car window in northeastern Sumy, four days after invasion, on February 28, four days after the attack.

Shishimarin, an imprisoned member of a Russian tank unit, was prosecuted under a section of Ukraine’s penal code dealing with war laws and customs.

Ukrainian Attorney General Iryna Venediktova had previously said her office was preparing war crimes against 41 Russian soldiers for crimes such as bombing civilian infrastructure, killing civilians, raping, and looting.

It was not immediately clear how many suspects were in Ukrainian hands or how many would be tried in absentia.

How many Russian soldiers have captured Ukrainians to stand trial is unknown. (AP: Efrem Lukatsky)

As the first case for crimes committed during the war in Ukraine, the prosecution of Shishimarin was closely monitored.

Investigators have gathered evidence of possible war crimes to bring before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Ms. Venediktova’s office is investigating more than 10,700 possible crimes involving more than 600 suspects, including Russian soldiers and government officials.

With the help of foreign experts, prosecutors are investigating allegations that Russian forces have violated Ukrainian and international law by killing, torturing, and abusing possibly thousands of Ukrainian citizens.

According to Venediktova, Shishimarin was among Russian troops who fled Ukrainian soldiers on February 28.

The Russians allegedly shot at a passenger car, seized the vehicle, and then drove to Chupakhivka, a village about 320 kilometers east of Kyiv.

On the way, the attorney general claimed, Russian soldiers saw a man walking on the sidewalk and talking on his phone.

Russian soldier

Shishimarin was ordered to kill the man so that he could not report them to the Ukrainian military authorities. Ms. Venediktova did not identify who gave the order.

Shishimarin fired his pistol through the open window and hit the victim in the head, Ms. Venediktova wrote.

“The man died on the spot just a few tens of meters from his home,” she said.

Shishimarin said his unit seized a car to flee Ukrainian troops near Kyiv. (AP: Efrem Lukatsky)

Ukraine’s security agency, known as the SBU, posted a short video on May 4 in which Shishimarin spoke to the camera and briefly described how he shot the man.

The SBU described the video as “one of the enemy invaders’ first confessions”.

“I was ordered to shoot,” said Shishimarin.

“I shot one (round) at him. He falls. And we kept going.”

Russia is said to be preparing war crimes trials against Ukrainian soldiers.

AP

Posted 10 minutes ago Wed May 18, 2022, at 1:46 PM, Updated 2 minutes ago Wed May 18, 2022, at 1:54 PM

Dorothy R. Barrett

I’m a full-time blogger by passion. This is my first blog, and I'm excited to share everything that I love about technology, business, and lifestyle with you. I’m a writer by trade, and I can be found writing about tech, business, and lifestyle on my personal blog.

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