07 July 2022,   12:01
Russian soldier on trial for war crimes pleads guilty to killing civilian

The first Russian soldier on trial for war crimes in Ukraine during Moscow’s invasion has pleaded guilty to killing an unarmed civilian, writes The Guardian.

Vadim Shishimarin, 21, appeared at Kyiv’s Solomyansky district court charged with war crimes and premeditated murder. He is accused of killing an unarmed civilian, a 62-year-old man in the northeast Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on 28 February.

Asked in court if he was guilty of the allegations, including war crimes and premeditated murder, Shishimarin responded “yes”. If convicted, he faces up to life imprisonment.

Ukraine’s state prosecutors said Shishimarin – a sergeant from the Siberian region of Irkutsk - and four other Russian servicemen fired at and stole a privately owned car to escape after their column was targeted by Ukrainian forces.

The soldiers drove into the village of Chupakhivka where they saw an unarmed 62-year-old man riding a bicycle and talking on his phone, they said.

Prosecutors said Shishimarin was ordered by another serviceman to kill the civilian to prevent him from reporting on the Russians’ presence. Using a Kalashnikov assault rifle, he fired several shots through the open window of the car at the civilian’s head, they said. The civilian died on the spot.

It is the first war crimes trial since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.