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First Russian soldier on trial for war crimes in Ukraine pleads GUILTY

The first Russian soldier on trial for war crimes in Ukraine has pleaded guilty.

Tank commander Vadim Shishimarin, 21, murdered a 62-year-old civilian in the northeast Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka, east of Kyiv on February 28 - just four days after despot Vladimir Putin ordered troops over the border.

Shishimarin told a Kyiv district court today that he pleaded guilty.

The admission in Ukraine's first war crimes trial will be of huge symbolic value to Kyiv.

Prosecutors claim the soldier and four of his comrades were under-fire from Ukrainian troops and hijacked a civilian's car.

After driving the vehicle to Chupakhivka, in Sumy Oblast, they found a local chatting on the phone and riding his bike.

Another serviceman ordered Shishimarin to kill the civilian to stop him reporting their presence in the settlement.

Shishimarin, 21, is seen inside a defendant's cage during a court hearing (REUTERS)

Shishimarin aimed his AK47 at the civlian's head and fired out of the window - with the unarmed man dying on the spot, according to local media.

If convicted Shishimarin faces up to life imprisonment.

The Kyiv government has accused Russia of atrocities and brutality against civilians during the invasion and said it has identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes.

Russia has denied targeting civilians or involvement in war crimes and accused Kyiv of staging them to smear its forces.

Shishimarin only spoke to confirm his name last week (REUTERS)

The SBU Security Service of Ukraine conducted the investigation into the case, it said.

State prosecutor Andriy Synyuk told reporters after his first hearing last week: "This is the first case today. But soon there will be a lot of these cases."

Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on May 12 there were many examples of possible war crimes since the Russian invasion and that 1,000 bodies had been recovered so far in the Kyiv region.

Last month, the International Criminal Court (ICC) said on April 25 that it would take part in a joint team with Ukrainian, Polish and Lithuanian prosecutors investigating war crimes allegations against Russian forces.

Meanwhile, the Russian soldier accused of gang-raping a little girl and threatening to kill her family has been named by the Ukrainian security services.

Fassakhov Bulat Lenarovych, a 21-year-old soldier from the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, stands accused of being part of a gang of invaders who committed war crimes in the region around Kyiv.

Fassakhov Bulat Lenarovych has been named in a separate case involving the gang-rape of a girl (Security Service of Ukraine)

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) yesterday detailed his alleged crimes, as well as featuring a series of photos of the accused rapist.

The release states that Lenarovych broke into the house of a Ukrainian family and locked them all in the basement - aside from one young girl. The occupier raped the girl after threatening to kill her family, then repeated the atrocity along with three accomplices.

“Under the supervision of Kyiv Region Prosecutor’s Office, the SSU has notified him, in absentia, of suspicion of violating laws and customs of war,” the release went on.