Ukraine opens first war criminal trial since invasion of Russia

Ukraine has started its first war trial against a Russian soldier arrested for the murder of a 62-year-old civilian just days after the invasion of Moscow.

Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was in a small courtroom in gray and blue sportswear and was seen handcuffed as security officials escorted him into the room for trial proceedings.

He was imprisoned on February 28 for the murder of an unarmed civilian on a bicycle.

The man, assigned as commander of the Kantemirovskaya tank division, is accused of firing through a car window at a man in the village of Chupakhivka in Sumy Oblast.

He was driving a stolen vehicle in the area and was ordered to make sure that Ukrainian civilians did not know his location in the area, prosecutors said.

It is reported that Shishimarin did not speak much in court except in a few cases, such as checking basic information about his name in court. He has not yet challenged the charges against him at trial.

According to his lawyer, Shishimarin confessed to killing a civilian but said nothing about whether he would plead guilty. tutelar.

He spoke briefly in court, with the help of a Russian interpreter, to understand the charges against him and to confirm his name. “Yes, I understand.” He said.

If convicted of a crime, Russian soldiers detained in Ukraine could face life imprisonment. Hearings resume on Wednesday.

Ukrainian officials first announced on Wednesday that they had decided to begin war trials against Russian soldiers held prisoner of war.

Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said they were investigating more than 10,700 war crimes committed during the invasion. Ukraine has identified more than 600 suspects.

Shortly after the first hearing, Prosecutor Andriy Synyuk said “there will be a lot of these cases.”

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