Vadim Shishimarin, the first Russian soldier to be prosecuted in Ukraine for war crimes, pleaded guilty to killing a civilian in his statement Wednesday at the Kyiv court trying him, the Ukrainian outlet The Kyiv Independent reported.
Shishimarin, 21, pleaded guilty to having killed a Ukrainian civilian in the Sumy region, in northern Ukraine, in an event that occurred on February 28, four days after the Russian invasion began, decided by Vladimir Putin, according to sources.
The soldier is commander of unit 32010 of the fourth armored division of the Kantemirovskaya Guards of the Moscow region.
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According to the prosecution’s investigation, on February 28 Shishimarin, 21, killed an unarmed man who was riding a bicycle on the road in the town of Chupajivka.
After an attack by the Ukrainian Army, the column that the commander was part of had disbanded and the accused, in the company of four other soldiers, fled in a civilian vehicle seized by force.
Arriving in Chupajivka, they met the victim, who was talking on the phone, and Shishimarin shot him in the head with a machine gun to prevent him from giving them away to the Ukrainian troops.
Later, the commander was captured by the Kyiv forces, and on May 4 the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) published a video in which he confessed to having shot a civilian.
Shishimarin faces between 10 and 15 years in prison or life in prison if convicted of the charges against him, violation of the laws of war, in combination with premeditated murder.
According to the prosecution, in late February Shishimarin killed a 62-year-old civilian in northern Ukraine’s Sumy Oblast during the Russian withdrawal.
He pleaded guilty and now faces life in prison for violating the laws of war.