May 12, 2022: According to a report by Reuters, Ukraine will launch its first war crimes trial over Moscow’s ongoing invasion, bringing a 21-year-old Russian service member to the stand, Kyiv’s prosecutor general announced Wednesday.
Vadim Shishimarin is accused of firing an automatic rifle from a car window, killing an unarmed 62-year-old civilian to prevent him from serving as a witness to a carjacking, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.
After his convoy was hit in northern Ukraine on February 28, Shishimarin joined four other fleeing soldiers and stole a car from outside the village of Chupakhivka, the statement added.
The civilian, who was not named, was riding his bicycle on the side of the road not far from his home when the alleged theft took place, the office said.
“One of the military servicemen ordered the accused to kill a civilian so that he would not report them,” according to the statement from prosector Iryna Venediktova’s office.
“The man died on the spot just a few dozen metres from his home,” it added.
The Russian service member, who is in custody, faces possible life imprisonment on charges of war crimes and premeditated murder.
The prosecutor’s office released a blurred photo of Shishimarin but did not detail how he came to be in Ukrainian custody or what happened to the other service members in his group at the time of the alleged killing.
Britain and the Netherlands have sent war crimes investigators to Ukraine to assist local and International Criminal Court teams probing possible mass atrocities, including in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where at least 20 bodies were discovered on April 2.
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