Russian War Crimes Being Prosecuted in Ukraine

Russia’s horrific invasion of Ukraine started on February 24 and still shows no sign of stopping.

In that time, Russian troops have committed numerous war crimes, the majority of which are still under investigation or being uncovered.

While the world prays for an end to the bloodshed, prosecutions are beginning to take place for those who have committed some of these atrocities.

Today on Wednesday, the first Russian soldier has been held accountable for his actions in Ukraine.

Soldier Pleads Guilty

Appearing in court in Kiev, Ukraine, a young Russian soldier pleaded guilty to shooting a Ukrainian civilians on Wednesday. This is the first trial for war crimes since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin is 21. He comes from Irkutsk in the Siberia region of Russia. He appeared in district court looking depressed and unhealthy.

He was inside a locked glass box where he was told the charges against him. After hearing the detailed charges against him, the soldier pleaded guilty and will now face punishment.

What Did Shishimarin Do?

Four days after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 28, the convoy commanded by Sergeant Shishimarin was attacked. Soon after, Shishimarin and four other soldiers stole a car and went looking for trouble.

They were near the village of Shupakhivka when they spotted a 62-year-old man pushing his bike and talking to someone on his cell phone.

According to the indictment, one of the military members higher up ordered Shishimarin to execute the civilian. Armed with an AK-47 rifle, Shishimarin shot out from the vehicle window and killed the civilian, who was just a few feet outside his home.

Shishimarin is charged with war crimes and premeditated murder. This is an important case to try out how Ukraine will prosecute war criminals.

There are likely to be many more going forward, considering Russia’s behavior and the fact its crimes in Ukraine are being investigated by many independent organizations, including Amnesty International.

The Bottom Line

Russia’s troops are losing morale.

They are also losing ground partly as a result of terrible leadership and no military discipline. War is a terrible thing, but it becomes even worse when young soldiers have no discipline or carry out orders to commit war crimes.

The longer this war goes on, the more we are seeing horrific cases of Russians executing civilians on purpose, including in the town of Bucha where most adult males were hog-tied and executed outside their homes.

Russia must be held accountable for its atrocious actions here. It must made to answer for what it’s done to the Ukrainian people.

There’s no justification for the intentional targeting of civilians who are defenseless and just looking to survive.