Russian soldier, 21-year-old, Vadim Shishimarin, made an appearance at the Kyiv district court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to murdering a 62-year-old civilian in northeastern Ukraine in the first war crimes trial of the conflict. This case happens to hold a huge symbolic value to Ukraine.
Shishimarin was the tank commander, took part in the Moscow’s 24 February invasion, He was held in Ukraine and charged with murdering a 62-year-old civilian in the northeast Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on 28 February. The 21 year old pleaded guilty before the court court and If convicted, he could face up to life imprisonment.
State prosecutors in Ukraine say Shishimarin and four other Russian servicemen “fired at and stole a privately owned car to escape after their column was targeted by Ukrainian forces.” They said “Shishimarin was ordered by another serviceman to kill the civilian to prevent him from reporting on the Russians’ presence and fired several shots through the open window of the car with an assault rifle at the civilian’s head. The civilian died on the spot.”
Russia has denied targeting civilians or involvement in war crimes and accuses Kyiv of “staging” them to smear its forces. Ukraine’s government say it has identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes, it further accuses Russia of “atrocities and brutality” against civilians during the invasion.