This 21-year-old Russian soldier is the first accused of war crimes in Ukraine

The first war crimes trial since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will begin on May 18 in Kyiv, a young Russian soldier in the dock suspected of killing a 62-year-old man.

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The defendant, Vadim Chichymarin, 21, handcuffed and with his head shaved, arrived at the Solomiansky District Court in Kyiv in a gray tracksuit for the preliminary hearing on Friday, Ukrainian television showed.

The attorney general’s office told AFP that the trial date had been set “for May 18”.

Mr. Chichimarin is accused of firing a Kalashnikov rifle from the window of the car in which he was traveling, killing a 62-year-old unarmed civilian.

According to the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office, the Russian soldier was traveling with four other soldiers after their convoy was attacked on February 28 and stole a car near the village of Chubakhivka in the Sumy region (northeast). The prosecution added that the victim – who has not been identified – was riding a bicycle on the side of the road not far from his home.

Listen to the Loïc Tassé column into the microphone of Benot Dutrizac on QUB Radio:

Chichimarin’s lawyer said his client had confessed to killing a 62-year-old man, without specifying whether he would plead guilty.

He faces life imprisonment if convicted of war crimes and premeditated murder.

In a video released by the Ukrainian secret service (SBU) in early May, Vadim Chichymarin said he had come to fight in Ukraine to “financially support his mother”.

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Regarding the charges against him, he explained: “I ordered him to be shot once. He fell and we continued on our way.”

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office published a picture of the accused without indicating the circumstances that led to his arrest.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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