Russian soldier on trial for war crime ‘is not guilty’, says his lawyer

The 21-year-old meanwhile said he was “sincerely sorry” for killing a 62-year-old man in northeastern Ukraine.

Russian soldier tried in kyiv for war crime in Ukraine «is not guilty“Said his lawyer on the third day of this first trial of its kind since the start of the Russian invasion, the verdict of which will be announced on Monday May 23.

Considering all the evidence and testimony, I believe that Vadim Chichimarine is not guilty of the crime he is charged with.“, said Viktor Ovsiannykov during his closing argument, asking the judges “to acquit (his) client“, noted an AFP journalist. “I am really sorry“, said a few minutes later Sergeant Vadim Chichimarine, 21, who admitted on Wednesday to having killed Oleksandr Chelipov, a 62-year-old civilian, on February 28 in northeastern Ukraine.

I regret what I did“added the young man, shaved head, from his glass cage. Before adding:I was nervous in this situation. I didn’t mean to kill“. “I want to apologize for what I did“.

SEE ALSO – Ukraine: start of the first war crime trial since the Russian invasion

Rejects responsibility

The lawyer assured that his client did not want to carry out the order to shoot, arguing that he had not obeyed in the first time. The defense also stressed that he had surrendered voluntarily to the Ukrainian forces and did not deny the facts. The lawyer further assured that the soldier was only trying to save his life, placing the responsibility on his commanders. Arguments swept away by the prosecution who demanded life imprisonment. “He was carrying out a criminal order and was well aware of it“, Launched one of the prosecutors.

Speaking in Russian, the soldier had an interpreter at his side who translated for him the words of other participants held in Ukrainian. According to the prosecution, 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. As they were driving near the village of Choupakhivka, in the Sumy region (northeast), they had crossed paths with Oleksandr Chelipov, who was pushing his bicycle while telephoning, before Vadim Chichimarine shot him dead.

Already on Thursday, this soldier from Irkutsk in Siberia had “request forgiveness» to the widow of Oleksandr Chelipov during a brief exchange between the two in the room of a court in kyiv, justifying his act by the «ordersreceived at that time. The verdict of the trial is expected on Monday, the judge announced.

SEE ALSO – War in Ukraine: Russian soldier tried for war crimerequest forgiveness» to the widow of the civilian


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