A Russian soldier appeared in a court in Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Friday in a first war crimes trial. The soldier faces charges of killing a civillian. Vadim Shishimarin (21), the Russian soldier, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing.
He is accused of killing an unarmed 62-year-old civillian.
He faces possible life imprisonment on charges of war crimes and premeditated murder.
The trial marks a significant moment for Ukraine, where Russian forces have been accused of killing hundreds of civilians since the war began on February 24.
It is accused that Shishimarin fired an automatic rifle from a car window and killed the civillian. This was allegedly done to ensure that there was no witness to the carjacking.
Prosecutor Yaroslav Ushchapivskiy told the Ukrainska Pravda news website that Shishimarin had admitted his guilt and agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
After his convoy was hit in northern Ukraine on February 28, Shishimarin joined four other fleeing soldiers and stole a car from outside the village of Chupakhivka, officials say.
The civilian, who was not named, was riding his bicycle on the side of the road not far from his home when the alleged theft took place, according to prosecutors.
“One of the military servicemen ordered the accused to kill a civilian so that he would not report them,” according to a statement from the prosecutor general’s office Thursday.
“The man died on the spot just a few dozen metres (yards) from his home,” it added.
(With inputs from agencies)
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