On the second day of the hearing, the prosecution requested the maximum sentence for Vadim Chichimarine who, on February 28, shot dead Oleksandre Chelipov, a 62-year-old man, in the northeast of the country.

The accused, who recognizes the facts and said he obeyed another Russian soldier, did not react to this indictment. The hearing was then suspended and will resume Friday with the argument of his lawyer.

Previously, the young soldier had found himself face to face with the widow of his victim.

– “Do you have remorse for the crime you committed?” threw Katerina Chelipova at him.

– “I know that you will not be able to forgive me, but I still ask your forgiveness”, answered the soldier with the still youthful face.

– “But why did you come here? To free us from what? What did my husband do to you?” Then exploded the little woman with short hair.

Vadim Chichimarine took shelter behind the “orders” received and the exchange went no further.

On the day of the murder he was in the Sumy region with a column of armored vehicles. After being attacked by Ukrainian forces, he stole a car with four other soldiers. “We wanted to go back to where our army was positioned, in Russia,” he explained.

“As we were driving, we saw a man talking on the phone.” According to him, one of the soldiers in the vehicle asked him to shoot to avoid being denounced. Vadim Chichimarine assured that he initially refused.

But another soldier, according to him, insisted: “He told me in a firm tone to shoot, that if I did not do it, we would be in danger”.

Pressed by the prosecutor, Vadim chichimarine however admitted that this man was not his superior and that he was not obliged to obey him.

– “fake”, according to the Kremlin –

The drama took place close to the home of Mr. Chelipov, at the end of the morning and his wife witnessed it.

“I had gone to draw water from the well when I heard gunshots,” she told the bar. “I opened the gate, I saw the car (…) and this young man”, armed with a Kalashnikov.

When she came out of her house, she discovered her husband, his head bleeding. “I started screaming very loudly.”

Her voice, which had remained firm until then, broke when she described her husband. “He was my protector. He was very nice, all the neighbors respected him.”

Despite her distress, Ms. Chelipova said she was not opposed to a possible exchange between her husband’s murderer and Ukrainian prisoners.

“I wouldn’t mind if he was exchanged for one of the guys from Azovstal,” she said, referring to the Ukrainian soldiers long entrenched in this steel site in Mariupol, who finally surrendered in recent days. .

According to the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office, the country has opened more than 12,000 war crimes investigations since February 24, the start of the Russian invasion.

In addition to Vadim Chichimarine, two other Russian soldiers are on trial from Thursday for firing rockets at civilian infrastructure near Kharkiv, the country’s second city, in the northeast.

International justice is also hard at work, the International Criminal Court having sent 45 experts on the ground to gather evidence.

Moscow, for its part, denies any abuse. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday called the accusations against Russian troops “fakes or staged”.

As for Vadim Chichimarine, “we have no information so far, and the possibilities of helping him are very limited in the absence of diplomatic representation”, he said.