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First Russian soldier confesses guilty of war crime in Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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Vadim Chichimarine, 21, was accused of having killed a Ukrainian civilian with a burst of Kalashnikov fire on February 28 in Chupakhivka, in the Sumy region, in the northeast of the country.

When asked if he recognized without reservation the entire indictment, including the counts of war crime and premeditated murder, the non-commissioned officer responded yes.

Dressed in a blue and khaki hooded jacket, his head shaved, the non-commissioned officer stood alone in his glass box, his translator leaning in front of him, in a small courtroom.

After a short intervention by his lawyer, the hearing was suspended. It will resume Thursday with the hearing of the accused, the widow of his victim and two other witnesses.

Private Chichimarine’s guilty plea could earn him a life sentence.

A secret service investigation

The charges against him were unveiled last week by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Iryna Venediktov, after an investigation by the Ukrainian secret service (SBU).

According to this investigation, the soldier and four other soldiers had just stolen a car near Chupakhivka to flee, after their convoy had been attacked by Ukrainian fighters.

However, the group feared being denounced when they came across a 62-year-old man riding a bicycle along a road, talking on the phone. The man was unarmed, according to the SBU investigation.

One of the soldiers ordered the accused to kill a civilian so that he would not report themargued the office of the attorney general. The man died on the spot, only a few dozen meters from his home.

In a video published by the prosecutor’s office, the soldier Chichimarine said he had come to fight in Ukraine to support his mother financially.

Regarding the charges against him, he explained: I got the order to shoot, I shot him once. He fell and we continued on our way.

On leaving court, prosecutor Andriï Syniouk told the media that the Russian had not received an order, but an instruction from someone who was not his superior and whom he was not required to listen to.

Admission of guilt

Asked about the young soldier’s admission of guilt, his lawyer, Victor Ovsiannikov, estimated that she reflected his personal attitude towards crime.

For my part, I have some doubts about the qualification of the crimehe said, hinting that he could challenge the charges against the young soldier.

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A few hours before the start of the trial, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov assured that he had not no information on his file.

Opportunities to help [le prévenu] are very limited in the absence of diplomatic representationhe said, equating the numerous war crimes charges against the Russian army with stagings.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, more than 11,000 alleged war crimes involving more than 600 suspects have been reported to Prosecutor Venediktov’s office.

A few weeks ago, ten Russian soldiers were accused of having committed war crimes in Boutcha, on the outskirts of kyiv, where the corpses of many civilians were found after the withdrawal of Russian troops.

However, these soldiers are not detained by the Ukrainian authorities.

The International Criminal Court on Tuesday announced the deployment to Ukraine of 42 investigators and experts to advance investigations within the Court’s jurisdiction and support Ukraine.

Our file War in Ukraine

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