What are the charges against the first Russian soldiers to be tried for war crimes?

“The meeting is open”The judge said shortly after arriving in the courtroom by Vadim Chichimarin. Wednesday May 18 First trial A Russian soldier opened up for war crimes in Kyiv, nearly three months after the start of the Russian offensive on Ukrainian soil. This 21-year-old soldier is accused of killing a sex girl on February 28, four days after the conflict began, in the northeast of the country.

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Thursday, Thursday, a second trial for war crimes began in Poltava, this time with the participation of two Russian soldiers, Oleksandr Ivanov and Alexander Bubikin, both accused of firing missiles at civilian infrastructure near Kharkiv.

Within three months, Ukraine has opened more than 12,000 war crimes investigations, according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office. The Kremlin, for its part, refutes these accusations, no matter how documented. Franceinfo goes back to the crimes the three soldiers were accused of committing at the heart of these first trials.

Shaven head Vadim Chichimarin appeared on Wednesday in the Solomiansky District Court. The soldier, originally from Irkutsk in Siberia, is on trial for violating the laws of war and murder. He quickly pleaded guilty after reading the indictment.

Russian soldier Vadim Chichimarin, 21, during a preliminary hearing before his trial in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 13, 2022 (EFREM LUKATSKY/AP/SIPA)

Feb 28, Vadim Chichimarin She was in the Sumy region with a column of Russian armor. After the attack of the Ukrainian forces, he flew A car with four soldiers. “We wanted to go back to where our army was stationed, in Russia”pleaded during his trial. “While we were driving we saw a man talking on the phone.” The latter drives his bike near the village of Choupakhivka.

According to the story of the young Russian soldier, a soldier in the car asked him to shoot this civilian, so as not to denounce his presence. Vadim Chichimarin claims that he refused, until another soldier insists: “If I don’t do it we will be in danger,” he told me in a firm tone of fire. Vadim Chichimarin admitted that he was not obligated to obey him, since this soldier is not his boss. But the soldier still killed the Ukrainian with a bullet from a Kalashnikov rifle from the window of the car, according to the services of the Prosecutor General.

“The man died instantly, a few dozen meters from his house.”

Attorney General’s Office

At the trial of Vadim Chichimarin

“He fell and we went on.”The accused are described in a video clip released by the Ukrainian authorities. Victim’s wife Oleksandr Chelipov, witnessed the scene. “I went to draw water when I heard gunshots. I opened the gate and saw the car (…) and this young man”mentioned on the podium. She came out of her house and saw the dead body of her husband, his head was bleeding. “I started screaming out loud.”

Thursday, the accused exchanged in the bar with those who witnessed his behavior. “Do you regret the crime you committed?” They threw Katerina Chelipova at him. “I know you won’t be able to forgive you, but I still ask for your forgiveness”Then the soldier was fired.

“But why did you come here? To free us from what? What did my husband do to you?”

Katerina Chelipova, the widow of the victim

At the trial of Vadim Chichimarin

For his lawyer, Vadim Chichimarin “Not guilty of the offense attributed to him”, for his unwillingness to obey the order to shoot Ukrainian civilians. However, the prosecution requested a life sentence. “He was executing a criminal order and was aware of it.”one of the prosecutors submitted. “I regret what I did. (…) I didn’t want to kill”, The 21-year-old soldier blew up. The verdict will be issued on Monday.

In line with this hearing, a second trial targeting two other Russian soldiers in Ukraine began Thursday. According to the prosecution, Oleksandr Ivanov and Oleksandr Popykin committed the crime of violating the laws and customs of war, Ukrainian state media Suspilne reported. (in Ukrainian). A Sky News reporter said that they are accused of firing Grad missiles at civilian infrastructure near Kharkiv (in English) who followed this trial. In Russian, “Grad” means “hail”, because this system allows 40 missiles to be launched in a few seconds, he recalls Release.

European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta (in English) He cited the allegation that the two soldiers’ brigade had arrived in the Belgorod border region (Russia) on February 22, with knowledge of the impending invasion of Ukraine. According to the prosecution, the bullets hit a residential area in Kozacha Luban, as well as an educational center in another city of the Kharkiv region.

One of the soldiers, Oleksandr Bubekin, confirmed to the situation that his unit had been told that it would conduct military exercises with the Belarusian army, according to Sky News. According to his account, the unit would then be redirected to Ukraine. The two soldiers, according to Novaya GazetaShe emphasized that she did not know which cities were targeted at the time of the shooting.

Sky News reported that both men had pleaded guilty, and had apologized for their actions. Their trial is scheduled to resume Thursday.

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