US

Russian tank commander sentenced to LIFE for killing civilian in Ukraine’s first war crime trial

A baby-faced Russian tank commander has today been sentenced to life in prison for murdering an unarmed civilian in the first war crimes trial arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Vadim Shishimarin, 21, had pleaded guilty to killing 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov in the opening days of the war after being ordered to shoot him.  

Judge Serhiy Agafonov said Shishimarin, carrying out a ‘criminal order’ by a soldier of higher rank, had fired several shots at the victim’s head from an automatic weapon.

Shishimarin, wearing a blue and grey hooded sweatshirt, watched proceedings silently from a reinforced glass box in the courtroom and showed no emotion as the verdict was read out.

The Russian tank commander was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to charges of war crimes and murder for killing Oleksandr, who was shot in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka, Sumy region, on February 28 while pushing his bicycle along the road.

Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old tank commander, had pleaded guilty to killing 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov in the northeastern Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on Feb. 28 after being ordered to shoot him

Shishimarin, wearing a blue and grey hooded sweatshirt, watched proceedings silently from a reinforced glass box in the courtroom and showed no emotion as the verdict was read out

Shishimarin, wearing a blue and grey hooded sweatshirt, watched proceedings silently from a reinforced glass box in the courtroom and showed no emotion as the verdict was read out

The Russian tank commander was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to charges of war crimes and murder for killing Oleksandr Shelypov (pictured), who was shot in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka, Sumy region, on February 28 while pushing his bicycle along the road.

The Russian tank commander was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to charges of war crimes and murder for killing Oleksandr Shelypov (pictured), who was shot in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka, Sumy region, on February 28 while pushing his bicycle along the road.

The trial has huge symbolic significance for Ukraine, which has accused Russia of atrocities and brutality against civilians during the invasion and said it has identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes.

Russia has denied targeting civilians or involvement in war crimes.

The Kremlin did not immediately comment on the verdict. It has previously said that it has no information about the trial and that the absence of a diplomatic mission in Ukraine limits its ability to provide assistance.

During the trial, Shishimarin had told the court that he shot Oleksandr as he and several other Russian soldiers were retreating and trying to rejoin their units in Russia.

The soldiers found a civilian car, a Volkswagen, which they hijacked. ‘We wanted to get to where our army was and go back to Russia,’ Shishimarin said.

‘On our way as we were driving, we saw a man. He was talking on the phone. He said he would give us up.’

Shishimarin said another Russian soldier in the car, who he said was not his commander and who he called an ‘unknown’ soldier, ‘told me to shoot.’

‘He started to say in a forceful tone that I should shoot,’ he told the court.

‘He said that I make up a danger if I don’t. I shot him at short range. It killed him.’

Oleksandr’s wife Kateryna Shelypova had confronted Shishimarin in the Kyiv court and asked him what he felt when he killed her husband.

‘Tell me what did you feel when you killed my husband? Do you repent of this crime,’ Kateryna asked the former soldier on Thursday as he stood in the dock, looking straight ahead.

‘I admit my guilt. I understand you can’t forgive me. I ask forgiveness,’ he said.

Oleksandr's wife Kateryna Shelypova (pictured in court on May 18) had confronted Shishimarin in the Kyiv court and asked him what he felt when he killed her husband

Oleksandr’s wife Kateryna Shelypova (pictured in court on May 18) had confronted Shishimarin in the Kyiv court and asked him what he felt when he killed her husband

Kateryna added: ‘Tell me please, why did you come here? To protect us? From whom? From my husband who you killed?’ 

Kateryna told the court that her husband was a tractor driver who was not carrying a weapon and was dressed in civilian clothes, according to quotes from Ukrainian journalist Daria Sipigina.

Kateryna said she was in her garden when she heard shots being fired, and ran out calling for her husband before seeing Shishimarin with a Kalashnikov.

He drove away with the rest of his squad, leaving her to discover her husband’s dead body lying on the side of the road.

‘The loss of my husband is everything for me. He was my protector,’ she said.

Shishimarin, who does not contest that he shot dead the civilian in east Ukraine, told the court Friday he was ‘truly sorry.’

‘I was nervous about what was going on. I didn’t want to kill, but that’s what happened’ he said, standing in the glass defence box, wearing a grey and blue hoodie.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button