A 21-YEAR-OLD Russian soldier allegedly shooting an unarmed civilian in the head is the first to face war crimes charges in Kyiv.
Sergeant Vadim Shyshimarin is accused of executing a 62-year-old Ukrainian through an open car window in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka in the first week of the war.
Shyshimarin, a captured member of a tank unit, appeared in a small glass cage in a blue and gray outfit at the Solomyanskyy District Court in Kyiv.
He faces a life sentence after allegedly opening fire on the Ukrainian as he was walking down a street talking on his phone.
Ukraine’s top prosecutor is investigating whether Vladimir Putin’s forces violated Ukrainian and international law by allegedly killing, torturing and ill-treating thousands of Ukrainian civilians.
The office of Attorney General Iryna Venediktova said it is investigating more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving more than 600 suspects – including Russian soldiers and government officials.
Many of the alleged atrocities came to light last month after Moscow forces retreated from around the capital Kyiv – uncovering mass graves and streets strewn with bodies in nearby towns.
On Thursday, Shyshimarin’s attorney, Victor Ovsyanikov, said he and his client had not yet decided how he would plead.
Prosecutors said Shyshimarin was part of a group of Russian troops who were defeated by fierce Ukrainian resistance on February 28 – just four days after the invasion.
As the Russians fled, they opened fire on a car and stole the vehicle.
They then drove to Chupahivka – a village in the Sumy region, about 200 miles east of Kyiv.
Venediktova said the Russian soldiers spotted a man walking on the sidewalk talking on his phone.
Shyshimarin was reportedly ordered to kill the unarmed civilian so he could not report the beasts to Ukrainian authorities.
He fired his Kalashnikov through the open window and brutally shot the victim in the head.
He died at the scene just meters from his home.
The prosecutor has not identified who issued the order.
The Security Service of Ukraine released a short video of Shyshimarin speaking on camera and briefly describing how he shot the man.
The SBU called the video one of the “first confessions of the enemy invaders”.
Shyshimarin said: “I was ordered to shoot, I was wearing a blue and gray hooded sweatshirt. I shot one (round) at him. He falls. And we went on.”
As the first war crimes case in Ukraine, Shyshimarin’s indictment is being closely monitored.
Volodymyr Yavorskyy, coordinator of the Civil Liberties Center in Kyiv, said activists will monitor the Russian soldier’s trial to ensure his legal rights are protected.
He said: “It can be difficult to maintain the neutrality of judicial proceedings during war.
Yavorskyy said that compliance with the rules and norms of the process “will determine how similar cases will be treated in the future.”
The UK has dispatched war crimes experts to assist Ukraine in its investigation into atrocities committed by Russian invaders.
The Federal Foreign Office said the team of experts will support the Ukrainian government in gathering evidence and prosecuting war crimes and will include experts on conflict-related sexual violence.
Secretary of State Liz Truss said: “Russia has brought barbarism to Ukraine and committed heinous atrocities, including against women.
“British expertise will help uncover the truth and hold Putin’s regime accountable for its actions. justice will be done.”
It comes as Britain’s Defense Secretary said Russian soldiers are using “mobile crematoria” to cover up their own war crimes – and the true extent of their army’s death toll in Ukraine.
Ben Wallace said Putin’s commanders in Ukraine refused to tell the truth throughout the war.
Speaking at the National Army Museum in London last week, he said: “Since February we’ve seen a systemic refusal to tell the truth in the chain of command and it’s playing out.
“Consider the mere fact that mobile crematoria roll across the battlefields not only to cover up Russian war crimes, but also for the bodies of their own soldiers.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5332859/russian-soldier-executed-unarmed-civilian-war-crimes/ The 21-year-old Russian soldier who “shot an unarmed civilian in the head” faces his first war crimes trial in Kyiv