Russian Soldier Becomes First To Be Tried For The Murder Of A Ukrainian Civilian
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A captured Russian solider is set to face court after being charged with murdering a Ukrainian civilian in the first few days of Vladimir Putin's invasion.
Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Iryna Venediktova revealed Vadim Shyshymarin, a commander in the tank division of the Russian army, is the first soldier to face trial for crimes during the invasion.
Authorities claim the 21-year-old Russian soldier gunned down a 62-year-old man, who was riding his bike along the roadside.
"After the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed Sergeant Shyshymarin’s convoy he, together with four other servicemen, fled the scene, fired at a car, and hijacked it. They then drove into a village in the vehicle with its tires punctured by themselves," Venediktova said in her social media statement.
"On their way, they saw a man who was on his phone while riding home.
"One of the soldiers ordered the sergeant to kill the civilian so that he would not report them to Ukrainian troops. Using a Kalashnikov, he shot the 62-year-old man in the head from an open window."
She added: "The man died just tens of metres away from his own house."
Shyshymarin is now awaiting trial in Ukraine, with prosecutors and the Security Service of Ukraine claiming that they are in possession of strong evidence of his crimes.
On May 4, the Security Service of Ukraine released a video of Shyshymarin confessing that he had killed civilians.
The 21-year-old soldier faces life behind bars under article 438 part 2 of Ukraine's Criminal Code: violation of the laws and customs of war combined with premeditated murder.
According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on May 11, there have been 7,256 civilian casualties in Ukraine: 3,496 killed and 3,760 injured since the Russian Federation's attack against its neighbour began on February 24.
The OHCHR, however, believes the number of civilian deaths and casualties to be much higher, with information delayed in parts of Ukraine where fighting is ongoing.
The OHCHR is also working to confirm the high number of civilian casualties that are still pending corroboration in Mariupol, Izium, and Popasna.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.