Russian Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, 21, shot and killed Ukrainian civilian Oleksandr Shelypov, 62, with an AK-47 as he was pushing his bicycle home in Chupakhov, just days after the invasion began in February
A captured Russian tank commander on trial for the murder of an innocent Ukrainian grandfather could be used for a prisoner swap.
Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, who is on trial for war crimes, chuckled in the dock after hearing that he might be released in an exchange after all – despite killing unarmed Oleksandr Shelypov, 62.
The 21-year-old prisoner of war sheepishly asked for “forgiveness” and hung his head during cross-examination by his victim’s widow, Kateryn, 61, in Kyiv’s Court of Appeal yesterday.
The sadistic soldier from Irkutsk in Siberia shot Oleksandr in the head with an AK-47 assault rifle in the northeastern village of Chupakhov on the fifth day of his country’s invasion.
But his mood quickly changed when prosecutors said two of his comrades who were scheduled to testify against him had been sent home as part of a swap and he learned the same fate could befall him.
The case was adjourned for sentencing today, with the defendant facing life imprisonment.
Kateryna told judges Thursday she would support the exchange of her husband’s killer for 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers captured in the siege of the Azovstal factory in Mariupol.
Kateryna previously said she hoped he would “rot in prison.”
She said: “I want him to have his life, but if he is exchanged for the defenders of the Azov Valley, our guys from Mariupol, I don’t mind. I won’t mind.”
Moscow forces are detaining the defending militants who had been living in the tunnels under the captured facility.
Russia has subjected the southern port city to almost constant air raids, leaving it largely in ruins before it fell under its control – one of Vladimir Putin’s only successes during the war.
But the outnumbered Ukrainian forces at the plant remained strong until their sinking this week.
Kyiv has confirmed that it is negotiating an exchange of fighters for captured Russian prisoners.
However, the Kremlin has not publicly agreed to anything.
AFP via Getty Images)
Rumor has it that Putin is planning to put Ukrainians on trial.
Kateryna interrogated Shishimarin on the witness stand and demanded: “Tell me, how did you feel when you killed my husband? Do you regret this crime?”
The defendant replied: “I admit my guilt. I understand that you cannot forgive me. I beg your forgiveness.”
Kateryna said, “Please tell me why did you come here? To protect us? Of whom? In front of my husband whom you killed?”
Shishimarin replied, “We were just following our orders.”
Prosecutors said Oleksandr – who had served as a KGB bodyguard in the Soviet Union – was pushing his bike home when he was gunned down yards from his door on February 28.
Shishimarin said he was in the back seat of a VW Passat that he and his two comrades stole after escaping an ambush by defense forces.
They had been attempting to evacuate other Russian soldiers who had been injured in an apparent friendly fire incident prior to the attack.
Shishimarin claimed an officer demanded that he shoot Oleksandr.
“I didn’t want to. He started saying in a forceful tone that I should shoot,” he said.
Video not available
“He said I would put us all in danger if I didn’t. I shot him at close range with an automatic salvo. It killed him. I didn’t want to kill him. I shot him so they would leave me alone.”
Shishimarin said the officer was subsequently killed in a neighboring village after the unit was attacked by civilians armed with hunting rifles before finally surrendering.
Kateryna previously said she attended the trial to see her husband’s killer up close.
“He looked like a kid but he will still get his punishment,” she said.
The widow added: “I know he’s a soldier and obeys orders, but why didn’t he shoot at the ground or in the air?
“He should rot in prison and spend the rest of his days thinking about what he did.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/russian-soldier-who-killed-innocent-27015512 Russian soldier who killed innocent grandpa grins as he learns of possible prisoner swap - World News