Russia-Ukraine War: Ukraine’s top prosecutor on Wednesday unveiled plans to prosecute a hostage Russian soldier for war crimes. He made this announcement amid intensifying fighting in the eastern and southern parts of the country. Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova said her office has charged Sergeant Vadin Shishimarin, 21, with the murder of a 62-year-old unarmed civilian. The civilian was shot and killed while riding a bicycle in February, four days after the start of the war.
Venediktova said, the Russian soldier could be sentenced to 15 years in prison. However, he did not specify when the trial would begin. His office said it was investigating more than 10,700 alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces and had identified more than 600 suspects. Many of the alleged atrocities were unearthed last month, when Russian forces halted their attempts to capture Kyiv and began moving through areas around the capital. After which mass graves were exposed in cities like Bucha. Residents reported incidents of murders, setting fires, rape, torture and mutilation of people.
Human rights group will keep close watch on trial
Volodymyr Yavorsky of the Center for Civil Liberties said Ukraine’s human rights group would closely monitor Shishmarin’s trial to see if it was fair. “In times of war, fairness of court proceedings and adherence to all rules is very difficult,” he said.
Russia’s natural gas flow stopped
At the same time, on the economic front, Ukraine on Wednesday stopped the flow of natural gas to Russia through a center. Meanwhile, in the southern Kherson region, a Kremlin-appointed leader said officials there want Russian President Vladimir Putin to make Kherson a “proper territory” of Russia, that is, to occupy it. This has raised fears that the Kremlin will snatch another part of Ukraine. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula bordering the Kherson region in 2014.
People in Kherson condemned the Russian occupation
In Kherson, people took to the streets condemning the Russian occupation, but one teacher, speaking on condition of anonymity, said such demonstrations were now impossible because Moscow soldiers “remembered activists wearing Ukrainian colors or ribbons”. And have kidnapped civilians.” He said, “Everyone in Kherson is waiting for the arrival of our army at the earliest. No one wants to live in or join Russia.
On the battle front, Ukrainian officials said a Russian rocket hit an area around Zaporizhzhya, destroying an unidentified structure. There is no news of any casualties yet. The southeastern city has become a refuge for civilians fleeing Ukraine’s devastated port city of Mariupol.
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