Ukraine war: Russian soldier jailed for life after murdering unarmed Ukrainian civilian in first war crimes trial

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The trial has been hugely symbolic for Ukraine, which said it has identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes by Russia during the invasion.

A Russian soldier who admitted murdering an unarmed 62-year-old Ukrainian civilian has been sentenced to life in prison in the first war crimes trial of the conflict.

Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin shot the man through an open car window in the eastern village of Chupakhivka, about 85 miles from Kharkiv.

The tank commander, 21, pleaded guilty at a Kyiv district court to firing shots at the man on 28 February, four days after the Russian invasion.

Shishimarin, who was wearing a blue and grey hooded sweatshirt, watched proceedings silently from a reinforced glass box in the courtroom this morning.

He showed no emotion as the verdict was readout.

Ukrainian state prosecutors said the soldier and four other Russian servicemen fired at and stole a car to escape after their column was targeted by Ukrainian forces.

When they arrived in Chupakhivka, about 200 miles east of Kyiv, they saw a man cycling and talking on his phone.

They said Shishimarin was ordered by another serviceman to kill the civilian to prevent him from raising the alarm that Russians were in the village.

Shishimarin killed the man meters from his home, firing an assault rifle several times through the open window of the car at his head.

The Security Service of Ukraine, known as the SBU, posted a video earlier this month of Shishimarin describing how he shot the man.

The soldier’s defense lawyer, Viktor Ovsiannikov, told the court that Shishimarin had initially refused to fire the shots, but was given the order twice and so carried out the shooting out of fear for his own safety.

Only one out of three or four rounds had hit the target, he said.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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