The first accused of war crimes in Ukraine appeared on May 13 before the court – 21-year-old Vadym Shishimarin. He is charged with violating the laws of war, killing an unarmed civilian.
As tells euronews, he became the first Russian soldier to face justice in Ukraine on such charges. A tanker soldier was captured during the first week of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Shishimarin served as a squad leader in the 4th Panzer Kantemirovskaya Division of the Moscow Region. During the investigation, it was proved that he shot in the head a 62-year-old resident of the village of Chupakhovka, Sumy region, who died on the spot. The man died a few tens of meters from his house. In his defense, the defendant during the investigation said that he was following the order.
According to air force, citing prosecutors, Shishimarin was driving a stolen car with other servicemen in the northeastern part of the Sumy region when they encountered a 62-year-old cyclist who was talking on the phone. According to prosecutors, the defendant was ordered to shoot at civilians to prevent them from informing Ukrainian defenders of their whereabouts.
The first trial of war crimes in Ukraine by Russian troops aroused close attention. Dozens of media representatives gathered in the hall of the Solomyansky District Court of the Ukrainian capital. The defendant faces a long prison term, possibly life imprisonment.
However, a full-fledged trial did not happen yesterday, it was a preliminary hearing. After discussing the procedural nuances with the defendant’s lawyers, the judges announced the adjournment of the meeting to another day. The next substantive meeting will take place on May 18.
Irina Venediktova, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, said earlier that the agency was investigating more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving more than 600 suspects. Among them are government officials and Russian soldiers. A significant part of the crimes became known after the retreat of the Russian army from Kyiv, a month ago.
Russia, BBC writes, denies attacks on civilians and does not comment on the trial. Some of Ukraine’s allies, such as the UK and the US, have joined the country in blaming Russia for genocide.
After the hearing, public prosecutor Andrei Sinyuk told Reuters: “This is the first case today. But soon there will be many such cases.