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Russian soldier pleads guilty at Ukraine war crimes trial

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@Bronco: Maybe not all committed war crimes? That's what this story is about.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Bronco

Why is this the first war in which POWs are being charged by the civilian courts of the country that captures them.

It's not.

Shouldn’t these war crimes be handled by an independent tribunal like the ICC?

Yes. That should happen as well. But this is under Ukraine law:

Shishimarin, a captured member of a Russian tank unit, was prosecuted under a section of the Ukrainian criminal code that addresses the laws and customs of war.

Is the Geneva Convention in force in this conflict? It doesn’t appear to be.

You are right. Because the Russians are committing war crimes.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I do feel sorry for him, at 21 being a sergeant (how does that work?) that’s means at least he had some responsibility for a number of even younger troops under him. Then a more senior officer probably a 24yo or less or more tells him to shoot a civilian. He is a soldier and following orders is a big part of basic training, being in the military. I’m not justifying what happened, just context.

‘Jail for sure but not life, he is a boy put in an impossible situation.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Shouldn't every single one be charged with at least the following:

1: Carry a weapon without a license.

2: Entering the country without submitting a passport to Ukrainian immigration authorities.

3: Trespassing.

Perhaps they should if they catch them, but how about focusing on those who committed war crimes before worrying about misdemeanours?

Of course, you are not being serious, but just trying to deflect to defend a war criminal.

Imagine going onto an internet forum to make obscure arguments to somehow lessen the seriousness of war crimes. Glad I don't do that.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Bronco - their country, their rules. If you don't like it, then don't go there? I am opposed to the death penalty for drug smugglers like they do in some countries, but I also understand that their laws are in effect, not mine or my countries.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Bronco - just like anywhere, I would imagine the Ukrainian authorities have to prioritize and are only charging the most egregious crimes against civilians to start. I suppose in theory they could charge Russian soldiers for those crimes, but they would probably already be POWs by that point. I agree with their current approach.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Shooting a single civilian to prevent detection of a mobile team is allowed under the laws of war.

They obviously weren't doing much to conceal themselves. After all, if it was just a single civilian, how do they know who the shooter was. And given that everyone has cell phones, they were hardly going to be secret for long.

I don't know about this detail of the ruleseof war - I've never really needed to research the exact circumstances in which you could kill innocent civilians. But I think you are trying a bit too hard to justify the murder of this man.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

There are roughly 97,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

Shouldn't every single one be charged

Don’t worry, the Ukrainian police are currently sending out traffic violation notices to these Russian soldiers for illegal parking, running red lights & failing to stop at stop signs.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"I was only following orders" did not work out so well for the last army that used it.

Russia had by far the highest casualties in World War 2 (3 to 4 times as many as Germany). Russia considers their military cannon fodder and has no regard for them in their strategy. It's amazing that the Russians don't rebel.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@elephant: Since when is it not wrong to just shoot a random unarmed person? What if he was a supporter of the glorious special military operation? +1 liberated, I guess.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cricky - yeah, sad situation all around. There is even a chance that he may never have even been taught that he can be held criminally liable for following unlawful orders. They may have skipped over that in his training.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

tooheysnew - some people just get off on soldiers killing civilians, I guess. I blame a lack of empathy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I doubt any Ukrainian caught with a tank in Russia would get a trial if he was intentionally killing unarmed citizens, targeting hospitals or raping people there.

Soldiers in other countries who maliciously kill non-combatants get charged and tried by their own military courts.

Good for Ukraine showing what civilized countries do and not just executing this 21 yr old man.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Who knows? Maybe the victim was a spy disguised as a civilian.

And maybe he was a shape-shifting alien disguised as a Ukrainian.

Ukraine has placed all men in military services, so that 62 year old man was aldo a combatant.

Men aged 18 to 60. 62-year-olds exempt. Also unarmed.

I do feel sorry for the kid soldier, though. He should not have been in Ukraine in the first place and was only there because of the ego of Vlad of the Long Table.

Meanwhile 'hundreds and hundreds' of russian soldiers with more backbone than this kid are refusing to serve in Vlad's 'special military operation', and because it's officially not a 'war' they can be dismissed, but not prosecuted. Good for them.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/12/they-were-furious-the-russian-soldiers-refusing-to-fight-in-ukraine

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bronco - do you have a citation for that?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Imagine going onto an internet forum to make obscure arguments to somehow lessen the seriousness of war crimes. Glad I don't do that.

These are the same people who tied themselves in knots defending the murders of civilians in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

These are the same people who defending the murders of civilians in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

let’s not forget the murders of civilians in Chechnya, Georgia & Azerbaijan

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"I was only following orders" did not work out so well for the last army that used it.

‘That was for mass repetitive murders and no it didn’t work nor should it.

‘But a kid shooting once (that’s what he is charged with) I’m not justifying his actions but his circumstances hardly equate to being a member of a death squad. If you have been in the army your whole routine is based on reacting to orders. That’s how armies operate. The younger the better more pliable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I was ordered to shoot,” Shyshimarin said. “I shot one (round) at him. He falls. And we kept on going.”

Was he expected to disobey a direct order from a lawful superior in time of war? The guilt lays with whomever gave the order to fire. As a soldier he does not have the luxury of disobeying as he may in peacetime or non military situation. In the Russian army he could be shot for trying to do so.

It is wrong to kill unarmed civilians. Having said that, in any wide spread conflict such as this, it is going to happen as it has in all past conflicts of a major war. The reasoning must be taken into account and while in the 20th century there were no mobile phones, so the closest situation would be a civilian with a 2 way radio walking down the street.

There was some small degree of justification given much messaging is done on both sides by the humble mobile phone.

I sympathize with the civilian killed. But in the end he was in the wrong place at the wrong time using an instrument that could be construed as immediately giving away their position.

War is unforgiving, and making one small error can get you or comrades killed within seconds.

This is a perfect reminder to all that war kills and destroys. Thats what is has always done. The innocent are always collateral damage.

The kid followed orders, as any military would expect him to do. As a former soldier I sympathize with the victim and the soldier for the position he found himself in thanks to Putin.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ok, I found the below. It looks like Ukraine may be able to try this guy if these conditions are met:

A prisoner of war shall be tried only by a military court, unless the existing laws of the Detaining Power expressly permit the civil courts to try a member of the armed forces of the Detaining Power in respect of the particular offence alleged to have been committed by the prisoner of war.

In no circumstances whatever shall a prisoner of war be tried by a court of any kind which does not offer the essential guarantees of independence and impartiality as generally recognized, and, in particular, the procedure of which does not afford the accused the rights and means of defence provided for in Article 105 [ Link ] .

1 ( +2 / -1 )

 try a member of the armed forces of the Detaining Power 

Did you read what you posted?

Ukraine can only charge Ukrainian soldiers for war crimes, that can’t charge POWs from the other countries army.

This is against the Geneva Convention.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Who knows? Maybe the victim was a spy disguised as a civilian.

Ukraine has placed all men in military services, so that 62 year old man was aldo a combatant. The Russian sergeant has done nothing wrong over this!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

UChosePoorlyToday  11:35 am JST

Bronco - their country, their rules

Not if the country has signed the Geneva Convention.

In that case, the Geneva Convention are the rules.

And the rules say that war crimes are tried by International tribunals, not local courts of the country that holds the POW.

For example, the Iraqis could not put American pilots into civilian prisons because they destroyed bridges.

POWs are not civilians.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Venediktova’s office has said it was looking into more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving more than 600 suspects, including Russian soldiers and government officials.

There are roughly 97,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

Shouldn't every single one be charged with at least the following:

1: Carry a weapon without a license.

2: Entering the country without submitting a passport to Ukrainian immigration authorities.

3: Trespassing.

Every single captured soldier is guilty of the above.

Why are some not getting charged?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

My question is, 

Why is this the first war in which POWs are being charged by the civilian courts of the country that captures them.

Shouldn’t these war crimes be handled by an independent tribunal like the ICC?

The Iraqis, North Vietnamese and Serbs all captured American pilots who had dropped bombs on people and caused death among civilians.

Yet in none of those cases, nor any other war that I know of, have POWs been charged by civil courts.

Is the Geneva Convention in force in this conflict? It doesn’t appear to be.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Hey, if you know there's zero possibility of a fair trial and the charges don't have a sound legal basis, why antagonize the people holding you prisoner (The holding a soldier prisoner is legal, but the charges ignore that a unit of soldiers in a declared combat are allowed to use force to prevent their position being exposed by a civilian, if the level of force doesn't rise above the military benefits. Shooting a single civilian to prevent detection of a mobile team is allowed under the laws of war. Massacering a village is not. Both have been adjudicated in the past.)

Especially given that it being a show trial actually is going to make it harder for your captors to kill or torture you and think they can get away with it, the way they've done to other captives.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Maybe bribe a judge,they will let you get off

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

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