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First Russian soldier to be tried for war crimes stemming from Ukraine

First Russian soldier to be tried for war crimes stemming from Ukraine
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said Wednesday, a 21-year-old Russian soldier will be the first person to go on trial for war crimes related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Photo via Twitter

May 11 (UPI) -- Ukraine is set to begin trying the first Russian soldier for war crimes, the country's prosecutor general announced Wednesday.

A 21-year-old Russian soldier accused of gunning down an unarmed civilian in February will be the first to go to trial, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said in a statement posted on Facebook.

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The soldier, Vadim Shishimarin, is in custody. He is accused of shooting and killing an unarmed 62-year-old man Feb. 28 in Ukraine's Sumy region. The man was attempting to escape from the area when he was shot.

Venediktova said other Russian soldiers ordered Shishimarin to fire his weapon "so he would not report them to Ukrainian defenders."

"The man died on the spot just a few dozens of meters from his house."

Shishimarin remains detained in Ukraine and will attend the trial in-person, the Washington Post reported.

"We are starting a trial not in absentia, but rather directly with the person who killed a civilian, and this is a war crime," Venediktova told the outlet.

Ukraine formally filed its first war crime charges in late April.

Venediktova said it is likely there have been around 10,000 committed since Russia first invaded Ukraine in February.

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Her office has identified about 40 members of the Russian military who are suspected of committing war crimes.

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