Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old tank commander in the Russian Armed Forces, has pleaded guilty to committing war crimes in Ukraine.
On the day in question, Shishimarin shot and killed 62-year-old civilian Oleksandr Shelipov as he was riding his bicycle near Chupakhivka, east of Kyiv. In the courtroom during the war crimes hearing, Shelipov’s widow wept as the soldier admitted to her husband’s murder.
SARFAN community, we all knew this day would come. Russia was never going to be able to commit war crimes and not answer for them.
Shishimarin is 21 years old and facing life in prison. Let us not forget that many of the soldiers Moscow is sending south, to kill and be killed, are nearly children themselves. In Putin’s relentless commitment to carrying out war crimes against Ukrainians, he condemns his own to death, by combat or through life imprisonment.
But of course, Putin does not see it this way. In fact, he recently gave the 64th Motor Rifle Brigade the honorary title of “Guards” for their so-called “mass heroism and valor.” What he refers to is the Brigade’s notorious war crimes in Bucha, where Russian troops left a trail of civilian bodies in the street.
In fact, Russia went as far to call the Ukrainians defending their home war criminals. In a call with French President Macron in March, Putin accused the Ukraine of committing “hundreds of war crimes daily,” despite the well-documented fact that Russian soldiers has launched air strikes and shootings against residential and community spaces in Ukraine, including bombing a hospital maternity ward in Mariupol, mere days before making the accusation against Ukraine. This is not new for the Kremlin. Putin’s regime has often taken founded claims against them and turned the accusations on the accuser in a campaign of lies.
We know Shishimarin’s case will be the first of many. In the end, no one will win this unwarranted war. Putin must follow in Shishimarin’s footsteps and admit his “military operation” is a senseless act of violence that he too, will one day have to face the courts and answer for.