Russian Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, 21, shot and killed Alexander Shelipov, a 62-year-old Ukrainian civilian, with an AK-47 as he was pushing his bicycle into Chupakhav’s home, just days after the attack began in February.
A captive Russian tank commander could be used for prisoner exchange in a trial for the murder of an innocent Ukrainian grandfather.
Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, who is on trial for war crimes, stood on the fence after hearing that unarmed Alexander Shelipov, 62, could be released in exchange for his death.
The 21-year-old prisoner fearlessly apologized and hung his head during interrogation by his victim’s widow, Katherine, 61, in Kiev’s appellate court yesterday.
Alexander was shot in the head with an AK-47 assault rifle in the northeastern village of Chupakhov on the fifth day of a Siberian Irkutsk soldier attack on his country.
But his mood quickly changed when prosecutors said two of his comrades who were scheduled to testify against him were sent home as part of an exchange and he knew the same fate could befall him.
The case has been adjourned till today as the accused is facing life imprisonment.
Katrina told judges on Thursday that she would support the siege of the Azovstal factory in Mariupol in exchange for her husband’s killer for the 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers held captive.
Katrina had earlier said she hoped he would “rot in prison.”
He said: “I wish he had his life, but if he were to be exchanged with the guards of the Azov Valley, our Mariupol boys, I would not mind. I would not mind.”
Moscow forces are detaining militants who lived in tunnels under the prisoner facility.
Russia has bombed the southern port city almost to the point of ruin before it came under its control – one of Vladimir Putin’s only successes during the war.
But Ukrainian forces at the plant were much stronger until they sank this week.
Kyiv has confirmed that they are negotiating a warrior exchange for captured Russian prisoners.
Although the Kremlin has not publicly agreed.
There are rumors that Putin is planning to bring the Ukrainians to justice.
Katrina questioned Shishimarin as a witness and demanded: “Tell me, how did you feel when you killed my husband? Are you sorry for this crime?
The accused replied: “I plead guilty. I understand you can’t forgive me. I beg your pardon. ”
Katrina said, “Tell me why you are here. To protect us? Who? Who killed in front of my husband?
Shishimarin replied, “We were just following our orders.”
Prosecutors say Alexander – who worked as a KGB bodyguard in the Soviet Union – was pushing his bike home when he was shot 28 yards from his door on February 28.
Shishimarin said he was in the back seat of a VW Passat that he and two of his comrades stole after fleeing a surprise attack by defense forces.
They were trying to evacuate other Russian soldiers wounded in a seemingly friendly fire before the attack.
Shishimarin claims that an officer demanded that he shoot Alexander.
“I didn’t want to. He started shouting that I should be shot,” he said.
“She said that if I did not, we would all be in danger. I shot him at close range with an automatic salvo. It killed him. I didn’t want to kill him. I shot him so he could leave me alone. ”
Shishimarin said the officer was killed in a nearby village after the unit was attacked by civilians armed with hunting rifles before finally surrendering.
Katrina had earlier said that she had taken part in the trial to see her husband’s killer up close.
“She looked like a child but she will still be punished,” he said.
The widow added: “I know he is a soldier and obeys orders, but why didn’t he shoot on the ground or in the air?”
“He should rot in prison and spend the rest of his days thinking about what he did.”