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Russia-Ukraine war; Russia’s first war crimes suspect appears in court

On Friday, a Russian soldier appeared in court in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv for the first time in a war crimes prosecution. The soldier is accused of murdering a civilian. The Russian soldier, Vadim Shishimarin (21), appeared in court for a preliminary hearing. He is accused of murdering a 62-year-old unarmed civilian.

On allegations of war crimes and deliberate murder, he may face life in jail. The trial comes at a critical juncture for Ukraine, where Russian soldiers are accused of murdering hundreds of people since the conflict began on February 24. Shishimarin is accused of firing an automatic weapon from a vehicle window and killing the civilian. This was reportedly done to guarantee that no witnesses were present during the carjacking.

Shishimarin confirmed his guilt and volunteered to participate in the inquiry, according to prosecutor Yaroslav Ushchapivskiy, according to the Ukrainska Pravda news website. Shishimarin joined four other fleeing troops and stole a vehicle from outside the town of Chupakhivka after his convoy was attacked in northern Ukraine on February 28, according to authorities.

According to authorities, the unnamed individual was riding his bicycle on the side of the road not far from his home when the alleged crime occurred. According to a statement issued by the prosecutor general’s office on Thursday, ‘one of the military soldiers instructed the accused to kill a civilian so that he would not denounce them.  The victim died on the scene, just a few hundred metres (yards) from his home’, the statement continued.


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