A 21-year-old Russian soldier has asked a Ukrainian widow to forgive him for her husband’s murder, as a Kyiv court met for a second hearing Thursday in the first trial of war crimes stemming from Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24.
Vadim Shishimarin, tank commander He’s guilty on Wednesday For the murder of Oleksandr Shlypov, an unarmed 62-year-old civilian, in the northeastern Ukrainian village of Chubakhivka on February 28.
“I confess my reproach … I ask you to forgive me,” he told widow Katerina Shalipova on Thursday.
Dressed in a tracksuit, his shaved head lowered, Shishimarin cut out a miserable scene in a glass booth for the accused. He spoke softly, but sounded frightened.
The Kremlin said it had no information about the trial and the absence of a diplomatic mission there Ukraine Limits his ability to provide legal aid.
Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Shishimarin to life imprisonment.
The widow told the court that she heard gunshots from a distance from their yard and that she called her husband the day he was killed.
I ran to my husband, he was already dead. A blow to the head. Shalipova said, in a voice trembling with emotion.
Shalipova 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.
The trial is taking place as the fate of its soldiers controls most of Ukraine, which it hopes Russia will hand over as part of an exchange. Some Russians are demanding that they be tried for crimes.
Shalipova said her husband was unarmed and wore civilian clothes. She added that they have a 27-year-old son and two grandchildren.
Ukraine accused Russia of committing atrocities and brutality against civilians during the invasion and said it had identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes. Russia has denied targeting civilians or being involved in war crimes.
The Shishimarin is accused of firing several shots from an assault rifle at a civilian’s head from a car after he ordered it.
Asked if he had been forced to follow an order that amounted to a war crime, Shishimarin said, “No.”
“I fired a short burst, three or four bullets,” he told the court.
“I am from Irkutsk Oblast [a region in Siberia]. Two brothers and two sisters told me… I am the eldest.
“Gamer. Wannabe beer evangelist. Pop culture practitioner. Travel lover. Social media advocate.”