TE24 International Desk:
A court in Ukraine’s capital Kiev on Monday sentenced a Russian military officer to life imprisonment for the death of an unarmed civilian, in the country’s first war crimes trial since the invasion of Moscow troops.
Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was found guilty of war crime and premeditated manslaughter five days after he admitted to the murder of Oleksandr Shelipov, a 62-year-old man shot dead on February 28 in the village of Chupakhivka.
That day, Shishimarin was traveling with four other soldiers in a stolen car after his convoy was attacked in the Sumy region.
One of the soldiers then ordered the defendant to shoot the civilian, who was passing by on a bicycle, so that he would not report them. The victim died instantly, a few steps from his home.
In testimony last week, Shishimarin said he initially refused to shoot the Ukrainian, but eventually relented after being threatened by another soldier, who was not identified.
“As we were driving, I saw a man talking on the phone. He [the other soldier] started saying in an energetic tone that I should shoot. He said that I would put us in danger if I didn’t shoot. I shot from a short distance and killed him. “, said the defendant.
Furthermore, Shishimarin apologized to the civilian’s wife Kateryna Shelipova. “I know you won’t be able to forgive me, but I apologize anyway,” said the soldier, who is from Irkutsk, Siberia.
Wearing a gray and blue tracksuit, the defendant watched the sentence being pronounced in silence, locked inside a kind of glass room inside the courtroom. According to the defense, there were no contacts between Shishimarin and the Russian government.
In a statement on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was “concerned” about the military’s fate but had “failed to defend its interests due to the lack of operations by Moscow’s institutions” in Ukraine. .
“But that doesn’t mean we won’t look at ways to continue our efforts through other channels,” he added. Russia also denies committing war crimes during the invasion. (with the agency Ansa)
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