The first Russian soldier tried for a war crime in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion pleaded guilty on Wednesday May 18, acknowledging all the charges against him. Asked if he “unreservedly” admitted the entire act, including the counts of war crimes and premeditated murder, 21-year-old non-commissioned officer Vadim Chichimarine said ” yes “. He is accused of shooting dead a 62-year-old civilian on February 28 in northeastern Ukraine. This non-commissioned officer from Irkutsk, in Siberia, faces life imprisonment.

Dressed in a blue and khaki hooded sweatshirt, his head shaved, the chubby-faced non-commissioned officer stood alone in his glass box, assisted by a translator in front of him in a small courtroom in the Solomiansky district. , in Kyiv.

“Dead instantly”

According to the prosecution, Sergeant Vadim Chichimarine was commanding a small unit within a tank division when his convoy was attacked. With four other soldiers, he then stole a car. While driving near the village of Chupakhivka, in the Sumy region (northeast), they had come across a 62-year-old man, who was pushing his bicycle while on the phone.

“One of the soldiers ordered the accused to kill the civilian so that he would not denounce them”, according to the Ukrainian justice, which specifies that the man “died on the spot”, a few tens of meters from his home. In early May, the Ukrainian authorities announced the arrest of the soldier without giving details, while publishing a video in which Vadim Chichimarine said he had come to fight in Ukraine to “support his mother financially”.