Ukraine, Briefly

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  • A Russian soldier accused of murdering an unarmed Ukrainian has pleaded guilty in Ukraine’s first war crimes trial, Politico reported. Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old soldier, is accused of murdering a 62-year-old civilian in Ukraine’s northern Sumy area. When the court in Kyiv asked for his plea, he said “fully” guilty. Prosecutors allege Shishimarin was ordered to shoot the civilian in order to prevent him from informing Ukrainian forces about the Russians’ whereabouts. He could face life in prison if convicted.
  • The Russian government has begun the process of withdrawing from a number of international organizations, including the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization, Politico added separately. Parliament Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy said lawmakers are revising “international obligations, treaties that today bring no benefit but instead directly harm our country.”
  • Russia expelled dozens of diplomats from Spain, France and Italy on Wednesday in retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats from European countries as part of a unified effort against Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine, Agence France-Presse wrote.
  • Google’s Russian office has filed for bankruptcy due to its failure to pay a $100 million fine for hosting illegal material, as Russia continues to put pressure on big tech following its invasion of Ukraine, the Moscow Times noted. Meanwhile, US officials said that Chinese technology exports to Russia dropped in March, a sign of Beijing’s wariness about violating the trade prohibitions, according to the Washington Post.

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