Ukraine’s prosecutor general announced that a Russian soldier accused of committing a war crime would stand trial, making him the first to do so.
Vadim Shishimarin, 21, has been accused of killing an unarmed 62-year-old civilian on the side of the road in a village in the Sumy region of northeastern Ukraine. The alleged killing took place in late February, around the start of Russia's invasion.
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"Prosecutors and investigators of the SBU have collected enough evidence of his involvement in violation of the laws and customs of war combined with premeditated murder," Iryna Venediktova, the prosecutor general, said on social media. "For these actions, he faces 10 to 15 years in prison or life in prison."
She testified in front of the U.S. Helsinki Commission last week and said that her office had opened more than 9,600 investigations into allegations of war crimes. Venediktova told the commission that her office also uncovered the identity of a soldier whom she accused of killing four unarmed men and torturing civilians.
The prosecutor qualified the update as "a drop in the ocean of cases we have." Investigators also found “a torture chamber with bodies piled on the ground,” and her office is “receiving mounting evidence of sexual abuse recorded against minors," Venediktova added.
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Last month, she accused 10 Russian soldiers, by name, of committing human rights abuses in Ukraine. In the announcement, she said a “short investigation” concluded that these soldiers “captured unarmed civilians hostage, killed them with hunger and thirst, held them on their knees with tied hands and closed eyes, mocked and beaten."