Russian war criminal on trial in Ukraine pleads guilty
Vladimir Putin's Russia has accused the West of downplaying the former Soviet Union's role in the victory over Nazi Germany Alexey DRUZHININ SPUTNIK/AFP/File

Russian Sgt. Vadim Shyshimarin this week became the first soldier to go on trial for war crimes after his country launched an invasion of Ukraine -- and he's pleading guilty.

Shyshimarin was traveling through Kyiv in the first four days of the war when he shot an unarmed man through an open car window, CNN and the AP reported.

Shyshimarin appeared before a court on Wednesday, where he was asked if he accepted his guilt, and he replied, "Yes. Fully, yes."

Prosecutor Andriy Sinyuk described the hearing as an “unprecedented procedure” where “a serviceman of a different country is accused of murdering a civilian of Ukraine.”

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The Russian government has dismissed the results of the trial, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov claimed that the trial was "simply fake or staged."

“We still have no information,” he continued. “And the ability to provide assistance due to the lack of our diplomatic mission there is also very limited.”

Russia has struggled in its invasion, with the international community joining a massive effort to help Ukraine.

The United States has been sending aid since Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. This week, the State Department announced that it would be sending representatives to help document additional war crimes.

Russia has been accused of intentionally targeting civilians including torturing some outside of Kyiv. They've also been observed kidnapping children and aid workers from eastern Ukraine and bringing them into Russia.

Read the full report at the New York Times.