Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin sentenced to life in jail in Ukraine’s first warfare crimes trial since invasion

Nearly three months after Russia launched its invasion, Ukraine noticed its first warfare crimes trial in opposition to a Russian soldier finish Monday with a life sentence. A court docket in Kyiv handed a Russian soldier the sentence for the taking pictures of an unarmed civilian within the early days of the warfare.

Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was convicted Monday of taking pictures and killing 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov on February 28 — simply 4 days after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion — within the northeast Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka. Shishimarin pleaded responsible, however mentioned he had been performing on orders, and apologized to Shelipov’s widow.

APTOPIX Russia Ukraine War
Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin listens to his translator throughout a court docket listening to in Kyiv, Ukraine, Could 23, 2022.

Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Russia denies that its army has focused civilians in any respect throughout the invasion, however Ukraine says it’s investigating greater than 10,000 warfare crimes already. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned Moscow would seek for methods to defend Shishimarin.

“After all we’re involved concerning the destiny of our citizen. Sadly, we’re unable to defend his pursuits on the bottom. That is as a result of de facto lack of operations of our establishments [in Ukraine]. However this doesn’t imply we are going to cease contemplating methods to proceed our efforts by different channels,” Peskov mentioned Monday.

At a earlier listening to, prosecutors mentioned Shishimarin had been driving in a non-public car with different troopers, which they’d stolen in an try to flee after their column got here below assault by Ukrainian forces.

They drove to the village of Chupakhivka, the place they came across Shelipov using a bicycle and speaking on his cellphone.

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Prosecutors mentioned Shishimarin was ordered to shoot the civilian to cease him from telling Ukrainian forces concerning the Russians’ location. They mentioned Shishimarin fired a number of photographs out of his open automotive window on the sufferer’s head, killing him immediately.

Shishimarin’s protection lawyer mentioned he had fired solely after refusing the order to shoot Shelipov two instances, and that he had accomplished so out of worry for his personal security.

Kateryna Shelipova, Oleksandr Shelipov’s widow, confronted Shishimarin throughout the trial, Newsplaneta companion community BBC Information reported.

“Inform me please, why did you [Russians] come right here? To ‘shield’ us?” she mentioned, mocking Putin’s personal justification for the warfare. “Defend us from whom? Did you shield me from my husband, whom you killed?”

Later she advised the BBC: “I really feel very sorry for him, however for a criminal offense like that, I can not forgive him.”

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