Russian soldier kills 62 year old civilian and goes on trial

     When announcing a war, it’s common knowledge to know that many innocent people will be killed for a fight that they didn’t start. It’s disheartening to even think that others are willing to shed blood and ultimately, get away with it. 

     However, Vadim Shishimarin, a 21 year old Russian member of the elite 4th Guards Tank Division, was recently detained for killing a 62 year old civilian and put on trial Friday May 13th. Allegedly, Shishimarin shot the unarmed man from a car window while the man’s house was meters away in the northeastern Ukrainian region of Sumy. Shishimarin shot the man in the head multiple times.

  This is Ukraine’s first public war crime case since the conflict began on February 24th, 2022. Shishimarin is currently in Ukrainian custody and is being charged for violating “the laws and customs of war combined with premeditated murder.” If the Russian soldier is found guilty, he could possibly face ten to fifteen  years in prison. 

      “This is just a beginning in the long and complex process of bringing perpetrators before the courts and restoring justice to victims. We will leave no stone undoncumented and investigate every crime committed against people of Ukraine,” said Iryna Vendiktova on Twitter. Vendiktova is the prosecutor of this trial who is responsible for leading a legal fight against Russian President Putin and the atrocities that are outcomes of the ongoing war. Additionally, she is the first woman to ever hold the office as a prosecutor general for Ukraine.

     Venediktova has  given the public more information about the case on Twitter. She states that the killing happened as Shishimarin and four other unidentified soldiers fled the fighting in Sumy inside of a stolen car. The man was reportedly speaking on the phone, and Shishimarin was ordered to shoot at the man in order to conceal their identities for the crime of theft. The weapon of use was a Kalasgnikov rifle, an automatic shoulder assault rifle and the most famous Russian gun.

     The only piece of information that Ukraine’s general prosecutor did not inform the public of was how the soldier was captured. 

     The first hearing of the case happened in Kyvi’s Solomianskyi district court where it was also labeled as a preparatory meeting. The hearing lasted a total of fifteen minutes as Shishimarin was read off his rights and was declined a jury trial. 

     The lawyer for Shishimarin is Viktor Ovsyannikov. He has stated that his client hasn’t entered a plea at the hearing but will do so at a later date. 

     The court is said to reconvene on May 18th… the date in which the formal indictment will be given.     Hopefully, this is not the last trial that will be opened in courts against Russian violations. Venediktova has specifically stated that Ukraine has over 11,000 continuing war crime cases and forty suspects dating back to the very beginning of these heavily controversial and destabilizing attacks on Ukraine.