War in Ukraine: Russian soldier tried for war crime “not guilty” according to his lawyer, verdict Monday

The Russian soldier tried in kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, for a war crime “is not guilty”. This is what his lawyer asserts on the third day of this first trial of its kind since the beginning of the Russian invasion. The verdict will be announced on Monday.

“Given all the evidence and testimony, I believe that Mr. Chichimarine is not guilty of the crime with which he is accused,” said Viktor Ovsiannykov, his lawyer, during his argument. He asked the judges “to acquit (his) customer “.

“I am sincerely sorry,” said a few minutes later Sergeant Vadim Chichimarine, 21, who admitted Wednesday to killing 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 want to kill.” “I want to apologize for what I did.”

“He was carrying out a criminal order and was well aware of it”

The lawyer assured that his client did not want to carry out the order to shoot, arguing that he did not obey at first. The defense also stressed that he surrendered voluntarily to Ukrainian forces and does not deny the facts. The lawyer further assured that the soldier was only trying to save his life, placing the responsibility on his commanders.

These arguments were swept away by the prosecution, which demanded life imprisonment. “He was carrying out a criminal order and was well aware of it,” said one of the prosecutors.

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 came across Oleksandr Chelipov, who was pushing his bicycle while on the phone. Vadim Chichimarine then shot him dead.

Already on Thursday, this soldier from Irkutsk, in Siberia, “asked forgiveness” from Oleksandr Chelipov’s widow during a brief exchange between them in a kyiv court room, justifying his act by the “orders » receipts.

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