Russian soldier pleads guilty to murder of civilian in first Ukraine war crimes trial

A Russian soldier has pleaded guilty to shooting a 62-year-old man dead in the first war crimes trial to be held in Ukraine, reports suggest.

Vadim Shishimarin, 20, gave the plea at the Solomyansky district court in Kyiv on Wednesday afternoon.

The murder took place on 28 February in the northeast Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka, just days after Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine.

Ukrainian state prosecutors accused Shishimarin of firing several shots at the man as he cycled through the village. They said the defendant was instructed to kill the civilian by another Russian soldier, who feared that the 62-year-old, who was on the phone, could tell Ukrainian authorities about the Russians’ presence in the village.

The victim “died instantly, a few dozen metres from his home”, according to the prosecution.

Shortly before the killing, the two Russian troops and three of their colleagues had stolen a private car after their column was targeted by Ukrainian forces.

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