A Russian soldier appeared in court on charges of killing a disarmed man on a bicycle, early in the first war crime trial in Ukraine since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country.
The 21-year-old is accused of the premeditated murder of a 62-year-old man who was not named in court. Shysimarin is detained in Ukraine. The trial is scheduled to restart on Wednesday.
Shysimarin’s lawyer testified that his client admitted to killing the victim, but that he had not yet discussed the possibility of pleading guilty.
The accused, who was assisted by a Russian translator to attend the hearing, spoke briefly to confirm his name and understood the charges leveled against him. “Yes, I understand,” he went on.
Shysimarin reportedly fought in the Sumy area of north-eastern Ukraine when he killed a civilian on 28 February in the village of Chupakhivka.
He is accused of shooting at a car after his convoy of military vehicles was assaulted by Ukrainian forces. He then drove the vehicle with four other soldiers while attempting to escape.
Shysimarin, originally from the city of Ust Illyinsk in the Irkutsk region of south-eastern Russia, gunned down the unarmed man, who was on a bicycle and speaking on his phone, after receiving the order “to kill a civilian in order not to report them to the Ukrainian defenders,” according to prosecutors.