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Russian soldier on trial for war crimes in Ukraine admits killing unarmed 62-year-old civilian

In the first war crimes trial, a Russian soldier pleaded guilty in murder of a civilian aged 62 in northeastern Ukraine.

Four days after the Russian invasion began, Vadim Shishimarin was accused in shooting an unarmed resident through a car window.

As proceedings began on Wednesday at a Kyiv District Court, he admitted to the killing of 28 February.

Russian tank commander, aged 21, could be sentenced to life imprisonment

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Russia denies that its troops have attacked civilians.

According to Ukrainian state prosecutors, the soldier and four other Russian soldiers robbed a private car in order to flee from Ukrainian forces.

They arrived at Chupakhivka (located about 200 miles east from Kyiv), and saw a local cyclist talking on his cell phone.

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According to them, Shishimarin was ordered to kill the civilian by another serviceman in order to stop him reporting on the Russian presence.

The civilian was hit with several bullets by the assault rifle he used to fire shots through the car’s open window. He was only a few meters from his home when he died.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) posted an earlier video of Shishimarin that described how he shot him.

He said, “I was told to shoot.” He said, “I fired one round at him. He falls. We kept going.”

According to the SBU, the video was “one of the first confessions by the enemy invaders.”

Shishimarin was charged under the Ukrainian Criminal Code that deals with the laws and customs surrounding war.

Russia was accused by Ukraine of atrocities and violence against civilians during the invasion. It has been claimed that it has already identified over 10,000 war crimes.

Moscow denied the accusations and accused Kyiv that it staged them to discredit its forces.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova previously stated that her office was currently preparing cases against 41 Russian soldiers, for offences such as killing civilians, rape and bombing civilian infrastructure.

It is not clear how many suspects were detained in Ukraine, or if they would be tried absentia.

Investigators are also collecting evidence about possible war crimes that they can bring to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

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