Russian soldier shot civilians in the head

By Inga Frenser

He’s sitting in a glass case, his hair has been shaved off, he’s wearing a blue and gray hoodie, and his eyes are lowered.

Vadim Shishimarin (21) is the first soldier of Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin (69) to stand trial in Ukraine for war crimes.

The allegation against him: Vadim is said to have shot a 62-year-old Ukrainian in the head through an open car window in the village of Chupakhivka (west of Kharkiv) in the first days of the war.

He was ordered to do so, according to a soldier in a Russian armored unit. Media interest is huge. Numerous journalists and cameras squeeze into the small hall of the Solomyansky district court.

He faces life imprisonment.

Ukraine’s chief prosecutor, with the help of foreign experts, is investigating allegations that Russian forces have violated Ukrainian and international law by possibly killing, torturing and ill-treating thousands of Ukrainian civilians.

Brief hearing on Friday

The judge asked Vadim Shishimarin to provide his name, address, marital status and other identifying details. He was also asked if he understood his rights.

Then judges and lawyers met. After a brief pause, the proceedings were adjourned. Next hearing day: May 18th.

Shishimarin’s lawyer, Victor Ovsyanikov, said the evidence against his client was overwhelming. However, they had not yet decided how they wanted to plead.

After Friday’s hearing, Ovsyannikov said he was hired to defend Shishimarin as a lawyer for the Center for Free Legal Aid.

The office of Attorney General Iryna Venediktova said it is investigating more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving more than 600 suspects, including Russian soldiers and government officials.

The article is in German

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