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At his trial, the first Russian soldier tried for war crimes does not deny the facts

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Thibaud Hue
9:15 a.m., May 19, 2022

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Russian Sergeant Vadim Chichimarine, 21, is appearing for killing a 62-year-old unarmed Ukrainian civilian who was pushing his bicycle while on the phone near Kharkiv, in the northeast of the country. An extraordinary trial, in the middle of the war. The accused appeared very intimidated on Wednesday during the first day of hearing before the press.

This is the first trial of its kind since the start of the war in Ukraine. For the first time, a Russian soldier accused of having killed a civilian during the invasion by Moscow will be tried this Friday, May 18. The first day of hearing was on Wednesday.

A symbolic trial in Ukraine

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Shaved head and dressed in a khaki and blue hooded sweatshirt, the accused is locked in a glass box, surrounded by two armed police officers. He answers the judge’s questions, seated opposite him, his voice low and his gaze shifting: “Do you understand what you are accused of? Yes. Do you plead guilty? Yes, completely. You do not refuse to testify? No”.

The hearing lasted thirty minutes before adjournment. It resumes this Thursday with the hearing of witnesses. This trial, the first in this area since the start of the war, is very symbolic in Ukraine. Vadim Chichimarine therefore risks life imprisonment if convicted of war crimes and premeditated murder. Terms disputed by his lawyer: “His recognition only testifies to his inner feeling. He does not deny the facts, he does not deny the murder. But I have certain doubts concerning the qualification of his crimes. The accused did not know not all the details of the Ukrainian criminal code”.

Deployment of experts from the International Criminal Court

And indeed, the very notion of war crime meets very specific international standards, examined and verified independently. The International Criminal Court has also announced the deployment in the coming days of 42 investigators and experts in the country.

Source: Europe1

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