West must put senior Russian figures on trial for war crimes, says ambassador

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Russian soldiers patrol a destroyed part of the Illich Iron & Steel Works Metallurgical Plant in Mariupol (AP)
Russian soldiers patrol a destroyed part of the Illich Iron & Steel Works Metallurgical Plant in Mariupol (AP)

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK has insisted senior Russian figures must be put on trial for war crimes.

Amid accusations of multiple incidents of the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, Vadym Prystaiko said the West must now set an example for all the “dictators in the world”.

Mr Prystaiko said: "To set an example for many of the dictators in the world, we have to do it.

"The example of post-World War Two has already sort of vanished from people’s memory, so they have to be revitalised, the image itself."

He added that the trial of individuals involved in shooting down Malaysian Airways jet MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 would be "a very good litmus paper".

Mr Prystaiko added: "If you can have people responsible for killing a whole plane of people, deliberately, not just the guy who pushed the button sitting next to the rocket, but the chain of command, this will show the resolve of the whole of Western civilisation."

 (AP)
(AP)

The ambassador’s comments come as one of the first Russian soldiers accused of war crimes went on trial.

Vadim Shishimarin, 21, pleaded guilty to killing an unarmed civilian a just days after the beginning of the invasion.

Prosecutors say Shishimarin was commanding a unit in a tank division when his convoy came under attack.

He and four other soldiers stole a car to escape before they encountered the 62-year-old on a bicycle.

According to prosecutors, Shishimarin was ordered to kill the civilian.

The country’s chief prosecutor Iryna Venediktova tweeted: "By this first trial, we are sending a clear signal that every perpetrator, every person who ordered or assisted in the commission of crimes in Ukraine shall not avoid responsibility.”

The Kremlin has denied targeting civilians but the International Criminal Court has dispatched officials to aid Ukraine in its investigation.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Suella Braverman led a team of experts to as part of a visit to the war-torn country.

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