Russian soldier pleads guilty to killing Ukrainian civilian in first war crimes trial
KYIV – A 21-year-old Russian soldier has pleaded guilty to killing an elder man in early days of the military operation against Ukraine during first ever war crimes trial of the conflict.
Vadim Shishimarin was produced before a court in Kyiv amid tight security. During the hearing, the Russian soldier admitted shooting a 62-year-old unarmed man, identified as Oleksandr Shelipov, in the head.
"Do you admit your guilt?" the judge asked. "Yes," Shishimarin replied.
"Totally?" "Yes," he replied from behind the glass cage.
Prosecutors told the court that the Russian soldier was part of a unit in a tank division when his convoy came under attack.
Shishimarin and four other soldiers stole a car and started travelling to Chukakhivka when they encountered the victim.
Prosecutors added that the 21-year-old soldier used a Kalashnikov assault to kill the elderly man after he was ordered by the senior officer.
The court will resume hearing in the case on Thursday.
The Kremlin earlier said it was not informed about the war crimes trial against its solider.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered to Russian fighters in besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.
Reports said that 265 Ukrainian officials were taken into custody by the Russian fighters, adding that more than 50 of them are severely injured.
Kyiv has urged Russia for an immediate prisoners swap, saying no stone will be left unturned to repatriate the Ukrainian heroes.
Talks between Russian and Ukraine to end the three-month conflict are currently on hold due to trust deficit, with Kyiv claiming that Moscow is not ready to compromise.
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