A 21-year-old Russian soldier accused of shooting a civilian on a bicycle and leaving him dead on the side of the road will be the first Russian service member to stand trial in Ukraine for war crimes since the invasion, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said. Wednesday.
The soldier is in Ukrainian custody and was identified by Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova as Sgt. Vadim Shysimarin. According to Ms. Venediktova, this is what Ukraine’s intelligence agency, the SBU, found in its investigation of her:
On February 28, four days after the Russian invasion, Sergeant Shysimarin and four other servicemen stole a car at gunpoint while fleeing Ukrainian forces and drove to the village of Chupakhivka in the Sumy region, some 200 miles east of kyiv. There they saw an unarmed 62-year-old resident riding his bicycle on the side of the road and talking on the phone.
Sergeant Shysimarin was ordered to kill the man so he wouldn’t report them. He fired a Kalashnikov rifle out the car window at the man’s head, killing him instantly, just a few dozen meters from his home.
Sergeant Shysimarin faces 10 to 15 years in prison. It was not immediately clear how he came to be in custody or when the landmark trial might begin.
Both Ukrainian and international investigators have gone to great lengths to document evidence of possible war crimes in areas where Russian forces have withdrawn. Hundreds of bodies have been recovered for forensic examination, and UN officials are sending more resources to Ukrainian authorities to help process mounting reports of rape by Russian soldiers.