In kyiv, the first trial for “war crime”

For a few days in Ukraine, there was a face of war crimes: a 21-year-old Russian sergeant, Vadim Szymerin, an almost beardless child with excellent features. He was killed when an AK-74 exploded in the Ukrainian village near Sumi in the northeast of the country, killing a dealer who was pushing his bike. The man died a few meters from his home, he was unarmed, according to 62-year-old prosecutor general Irina Venidikova. Sergeant Chichimarine was arrested as he tried to flee with four other soldiers. It was February 28, 2022, the fourth day of the war. Within three months of the invasion, 1,000 contradictions in the Sichimarine case had been settled and the first war crimes trial was held on Wednesday May 18 in a district court in kyiv – not in Ukraine. Special court.

Read our descriptions: War in Ukraine: what is a war crime? Who can judge, who can judge?

This is just the start of a long process: the attorney general’s office says it has already identified more than 12,000 war crimes cases. Putting ordinary military personnel on trial — even before prosecuting high-ranking officials — is rare internationally for such acts. The fact that more fighting is breaking out in the country is even more exceptional.

The statue of poet Taraz Shevchenko was destroyed by war on May 12, 2022 in downtown Porodianka (Ukraine).

The Russian sergeant’s Ukrainian lawyer, Registrar Viktor Ovsyanikov, has, like many of his colleagues, a long experience in cases that have dragged on for years. “It just came to our knowledge at that time. he said. It should start as soon as possible, everyone here understands. ⁇ In this hybrid warfare, wars are fought as fiercely on the information front as they are on the armed front. In Moscow, Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the main intelligence agency works full time on alleged Ukrainian war crimes. “You have to go faster than them to establish the facts and not allow them to establish their fiction”, Says the Ukrainian magistrate. Today, the whole country seems to be in the race for real-time war investigations. Immediate justice.

“A lot of self-organization”

In Borodianka, 15,000 civilians were transferred to a school by the local judicial services after the bombings dusted off most of the town, on the outskirts of kyiv. Women wait on a bench in front of a geography lesson. “Here, each head has its own misfortune”, Say one. Assistant attorney Tamara Kaspanova stacked her files on the editor’s desk, amid world maps. When the Russian tanks arrived on March 3, she took her computer with her on a flight west. The next day she started doing “Call” On his own initiative, as if the matter had not been said. “I’m not alone, She immediately screams. Here everything works like that, a lot of self-organization, no need to wait for orders from above. ⁇

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