A Russian soldier accused of killing a civilian appeared in a kyiv court on Friday in what is the first trial for an alleged war crime since Russia invaded Ukraine.
sergeant. Vadim Shyshimarin, 21, allegedly shot a 62-year-old man in the head in the northeast village of Chupakhivka during the first week of the war. The member of the Russian tank unit faces life imprisonment under Ukrainian law.
Lawyers and judges briefly discussed procedural matters on Friday. Defense lawyer Victor Ovsyanikov said the court would decide what evidence to allow at trial, but added the case against the Russian soldier was strong.
Since the start of the invasion in February, more than 10,700 potential war crimes have been investigated by Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova. There are more than 600 suspects, including Russian soldiers and government officials, according to his office.
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►European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Friday the bloc planned to give Ukraine nearly 500 million euros, or $520 million, for heavy weapons.
► WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was detained in Russia for allegedly having vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, appeared in a Moscow court for a hearing on extending her detention.
►The German industrial giant Siemens AG announces that it is leaving Russia, where it has operated for almost 170 years. Siemens was one of the first companies to suspend all new business in Russia, as well as international deliveries to the country, after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
►Some 3,000 civilians from Mariupol are being held in prisons controlled by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern region of Donetsk, the Ukrainian human rights chief has said. Lyudmyla Denysova said officials were aware of at least two de facto prisons.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister: We are always open to talks with Russia
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Friday his country was still willing to negotiate with Russia over blocking grain supplies and a diplomatic solution to end the war.
Kuleba made the comments in Germany, where the Group of Seven’s top diplomats meet. kyiv has received “no positive reaction” from Moscow, which “prefers wars to talks”, Kuleba said.
“We are ready to talk, but we are ready for a meaningful conversation based on mutual respect, not Russian ultimatums thrown on the table,” he added.
UNICEF announced on Thursday nearly 100 Ukrainian children were killed in April alone, and the aid agency believes the death toll is likely much higher.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi said earlier this week that hundreds of schools across Ukraine had been bombed by Russian forces. “In Ukraine today, education is also under attack,” Abdi said.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russian forces continued the assault on Ukrainian education on Thursday night, hitting schools in the Chernihiv region.
Millions of children have been displaced by war, and the United Nations estimates that 6 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the invasion began in February.
Russian assaults on several villages in eastern Ukraine were not all successful, the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said in an operational update on Friday.
Villages were targeted near Donetsk, Lyman, Bakhmut and Kurakhiv, and artillery fire was also fired at Ukrainian troops near Novopavlovsk and Zaporizhzhia, the general staff said. The shelling of the Azovstal steelworks in the besieged city if Mariupol continues, the Ukrainian military said.
According to the assessment of British defense officials, Russian troops have not made any significant advances in eastern Ukraine recently. Russian troops also suffered heavy casualties when a column tried to cross the Siverskyi Donets River, west of Severodonetsk, on a pontoon bridge, the British Ministry of Defense said.
“Conducting river crossings in a contested environment is a very risky maneuver and demonstrates the pressure on Russian commanders to advance their operations in eastern Ukraine,” British officials said in an update. daily information.
Russian military damaged more than 500 medical facilities, says Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Thursday that the Russian military had damaged 570 medical facilities and completely destroyed 101 hospitals since the war began in February.
“They are cowards and they are trying to hide the truth behind missiles, airstrikes and artillery fire,” Zelenskyy said in an overnight video address to the nation. “Therefore, our task is to fight until we achieve our goals in this war: to liberate our land, our people and ensure our security.”
Zelenskyy also said that Russian forces struck the Chernihiv region and hit schools and condemned what he suggested were senseless attacks on the refinery in Ukraine’s industrial center of Kremenchuk, the Zaporizhzhia region and Donbass.
Contributor: The Associated Press