A Russian soldier admits to killing Ukrainian civilians

During a trial in Kyiv, a Russian soldier has admitted killing a 62-year-old civilian in Ukraine and faces a life sentence.

Asked if he would admit to the charges including committing war crimes and attempted murder, Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin, 21, answered “yes” at a May 18 trial in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Shishimarin, from the Siberian province of Irkutsk, appeared at the trial in a blue and gray hoodie. The soldier silently bowed as the prosecutor read out the charges against him in Ukrainian. The interpreter then translates Russian again for Shishimarin.

Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 13.  Photo: Reuters.

Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 13. Picture: Reuters.

Ukraine accused Shishimarin and four other Russian soldiers on February 28 of stealing a car from people in Ukraine to leave them after their convoy was attacked. As the group of Russian soldiers drove to the village of Chupakhivka in Sumy province in north-eastern Ukraine, they saw a 62-year-old civilian riding a bicycle and talking on the phone on the street.

According to Ukrainian charges, Shishimarin was ordered to kill the civilian to prevent him from reporting on the presence of Russian troops in the area. The 21-year-old soldier is accused of firing a Kalashnikov from a car, killing Ukrainian civilians.

Kyiv did not say how Shishimarin was captured. If convicted, Shishimarin faces life imprisonment. His case marks the first time Ukraine has tried a Russian soldier for “war crimes” since the conflict erupted on February 24.

Russia has not commented on the soldier’s confession. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said before the trial that he had received no information about Shishimarin’s case and that he was only able to provide limited help due to the lack of diplomatic representation.

According to the Red Cross Committee and International Human Rights Watch, prisoners of war cannot be prosecuted on the grounds that they are directly involved in armed conflict. However, these individuals may be prosecuted for war crimes.

War crimes refer to acts that violate international law while fighting and controlling an opponent’s territory, such as B. deliberate attacks on civilians, attacks on hospitals, schools and historical sites.

The Ukrainian authorities have stepped up their efforts to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Russia. Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova announced that she would try 41 Russian soldiers accused of attacking civilian infrastructure, killing, looting and raping civilians. It is not clear how many Russian soldiers will be tried in Ukraine and how many will be tried in absentia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had set up a special mechanism to investigate “Russian crimes” with the participation of domestic and international experts.

Meanwhile, Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations from Kiev and the West, saying Ukraine was the party that committed the crimes and orchestrated the scenes of civilian deaths. Moscow has also repeatedly claimed that it only targets military targets. AP Russia is also preparing trials for “war crimes” against Ukrainian soldiers.

Ngoc app (Corresponding AFP/Reuters)