June 25, 2024

Solid State Lighting Design

Find latest world news and headlines today based on politics, crime, entertainment, sports, lifestyle, technology and many more

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General seeks life imprisonment for a Russian soldier in a war crimes trial

Ukraine's Prosecutor General seeks life imprisonment for a Russian soldier in a war crimes trial

Kyiv (Reuters) – Ukraine’s chief prosecutor asked a court on Thursday to sentence a Russian soldier to life in prison for killing an unarmed civilian in the first trial of war crimes stemming from Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24.

Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old Russian tank commander, asked widow Katerina Shelipova to forgive him for the murder of her husband Oleksandr in the northeastern Ukrainian village of Chubakhivka on February 28.

“I acknowledge my blame … I ask you to forgive me,” he told Chelipova at a hearing on Thursday attended by Reuters.

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

He pleaded guilty to the murder on Wednesday. Read more

The killing of Oleksandr Shlipov was one of what Ukraine and Western countries describe as a much broader picture: Ukraine accused Russia of atrocities and brutality against civilians during the invasion and said it identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes. Russia has denied targeting civilians or being involved in war crimes.

At Thursday’s court session, Shishimarin cut out a desperate scene in a glass booth for the defendants – a boy in a tracksuit with his shaven head low.

The Kremlin said it had no information about the trial and that the lack of a diplomatic mission in Ukraine limited its ability to provide assistance.

The widow told the court that on the day her husband was murdered, she heard long-distance gunshots fired from their yard and that she called her husband.

She said, “I ran to my husband, he was already dead. He was shot in the head. I screamed, I screamed so hard.” She looked dazed and her voice trembled with emotion.

See also  The BBC chief resigns after controversy over a loan deal for former Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Shlepova told the court that she would not object if Shishimarin was released to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange to get “our boys” out of the port city of Mariupol, referring to hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered to Russia. Read more

The trial is taking place as the fate of its soldiers in Ukraine is in control in the hope that Russia will hand them over as part of an exchange. In Russia, some senior legislators called for the prosecution of the fighters of the Azov regiment.

Shelipova said her husband was unarmed and was in civilian clothes. She added that they have a 27-year-old son and two grandchildren together.

Ukrainian prosecutors said Shishimarin fired several shots from an assault rifle at a civilian’s head from a car after she had ordered it. Read more

Asked if he had been forced to follow an order that amounted to a war crime, Shishimarin said, “No.”

“I fired a short batch of three or four bullets,” he told the court.

“I am from Irkutsk Oblast (a region in Siberia) and I have two brothers and two sisters… I am the eldest,” he said.

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Max Hunder; Written by Tom Palmforth. Editing by Alexandra Hudson, Nick McPhee and Frances Kerry

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.