Updated on 05/19/2022 at 7:23 p.m
- The first Russian soldier to be tried for war crimes in Kyiv since the start of the Ukraine war has asked a court for “forgiveness”.
- Prosecutors asked for a life sentence for war crimes.
In the first trial against a Russian soldier since the start of the Ukraine war, he asked for “forgiveness” in court. “I know that you cannot forgive me, but I still ask for your forgiveness,” said 21-year-old Vadim Sh. on Thursday at the hearing in Kyiv to the wife of the 62-year-old civilian whom he had already confessed to killing.
On the second day of the trial, prosecutors asked for a life sentence for war crimes. Vadim Sch. is accused of shooting the unarmed man in a stolen car on February 28 in the northern Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka. When asked in court if he pleaded guilty, he replied “yes.”
The soldier from Irkutsk, Siberia faces the maximum sentence for war crimes and murder. After the prosecutor’s request, the hearing was adjourned on Thursday. The trial is scheduled to continue on Friday with the pleadings of Schischimarin’s lawyer.
Victim may have witnessed the car being stolen
According to Ukrainian investigators, the young man wanted to flee with four comrades in a stolen car after an attack on his convoy in northern Ukraine. The victim witnessed the theft of the car. In court, Vadim Sh. this representation.
Another Russian soldier in the car, who was not his commander, “told me to shoot,” he described the course of events. “He started saying in a forceful tone that I should shoot (and) that I would create a threat if I didn’t.” He shot the 62-year-old from close range. “It killed him.”
The victim’s wife confronted the young man in court on Thursday. “Do you have any remorse for the crime you committed?” she asked him, after which he asked for forgiveness.
“But why did you come here? To free us from something? What did my husband do to you?” She didn’t let go. Vadim Sch. referred to “orders” and did not reply further.
Die Ukraine accuses the Russian army of having committed numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity since the invasion began on February 24. War crimes trials of two other Russian soldiers were scheduled to begin later Thursday. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is also investigating suspected international crimes. (afp/fra)