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A Ukrainian woman confronted the Russian soldier who pled guilty to killing her husband and delivered a heartbreaking speech.
Kateryna Shelipova spoke directly to Vadim Shishimarin, the 21-year-old soldier who was is in court on Thursday (19 May) accused of shooting Oleksandr Shelopov, a 62-year-old unarmed civilian.
Shishimarin admitted his guilt and asked the widow for her forgiveness, the BBC reports.
However, Shelipova replied: “Tell me please, why did you [Russians] come here? To protect us? Protect us from whom? Did you protect me from my husband, whom you killed?”
Shishimarin did not respond. However he pleaded guilty on Wednesday (18th May) and Ukrainian prosecutors are asking for him to receive life imprisonment.
When Shelipova spoke in court on Thursday, she described hearing the shots that killed her husband and the moment she saw Shishimarin through her gate holding his gun and eventually, her husband’s body.
The soldier claimed that on 28 February in the northeastern town of Chupakhivka, he and a small group of Russian soldiers became separated from their unit and hijacked a car in an effort to return to it.
According to Shishimarin's testimony, he did not want to shoot the innocent bystander but was threatened to do so by another soldier.
“He said I would be putting us in danger if I didn’t. I shot him at short range. It killed him,” he told the court.
His defence lawyer told the BBC that no Russian official had been in touch with the soldier and because there is no Russian embassy in Kyiv anymore, he hasn’t been contacted by the embassy either.
A spokesperson for Russian president Vladimir Putin told the BBC that the Kremlin has “no information” about the case.
The trial is the first time a Russian soldier has been taken to court for war crimes since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Ukraine has identified over 11,000 possible war crimes committed by Russia.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
Featured Image Credit: Getty
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