Highlights

  • Ukraine begins first war crimes hearing, Russian soldier on trial
  • Russian soldier admits to shooting unarmed civilian
  • Russian soldier says he was forced to shoot by senior officer

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Russian soldier admits to war crime, Ukrainian widow confronts him

Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin told the court that the senior officer insisted that the Ukrainian man could pinpoint their location to the Ukrainian forces

A Russian soldier facing the first war crimes trial since the start of the war in Ukraine testified Thursday that he shot a civilian on orders from two officers and pleaded for his victim's widow to forgive him.

Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin told the court that the officer insisted that the Ukrainian man, who was speaking on his cellphone, could pinpoint their location to the Ukrainian forces.

The 21-year-old sergeant could get life in prison if convicted of shooting the Ukrainian man in the head through an open car window in a village in the northeastern Sumy region on February 28, four days into the Russian invasion.

Also watch: Battle for Mariupol draws toward close after Ukraine troops' mass surrender

Looking subdued, Shishimarin said he at first disobeyed his immediate commanding officer's order to shoot the unarmed civilian but had no other choice but to follow the order when it was repeated forcefully by another officer.

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