Russian prosecutors are seeking a six-year prison sentence for a soldier who admitted committing war crimes in Ukraine during an interview, investigative news outlet iStories reported Wednesday.
Daniil Frolkin faces up to six years in prison for spreading so-called “fake news” about Russian military activities in Ukraine, iStories reported, citing a source involved in his case.
Frolkin is one of four Russian servicemen suspected of robbing, looting and killing civilians in the Ukrainian village of Andriivka who iStories identified last year using photos the soldiers took on a phone stolen from a resident.
“I… Frolkin Daniil Andreevich, confess to all the crimes I committed in Andriivka. [I confess] shoot civilians, rob civilians, confiscate their phones and [confess] that our command does not care about our fighters, the entirety of the infantry fighting on the front line,” Frolkin told iStories reporters in a video call in August.
Frolkin confessed to killing an Andriivka resident whom iStories identified as 47-year-old Ruslan Yaremchuk.
“I killed one. But I wanted to save so many people [as I could]said Frolkin, adding that he had decided to confess in order to save other fellow soldiers who are being sent to “slaughter” in Ukraine.
“[I will be jailed] not for what I did in Ukraine, but for all the information that I am going to give you. I just want to confess everything and explain what is happening in our country. I think it would be better if the war never started,” Frolkin told iStories in the video interview.
Frolkin’s verdict in the “false news” case is expected at the Khabarovsk garrison court-martial in the coming days, iStories reported on Wednesday.
Located about 60 kilometers west of kyiv, Andriivka was occupied by Russian forces in the early days of the invasion in February.
At least 40 of Andriivka’s approximately 1,000 residents were killed during the Russian occupation that lasted until April, according the BBC.
The Russian Ministry of Defense had claims that “the civilian population is not in danger” as his troops invaded Ukraine.
Shortly after the start of the war, Russia passed laws that punish the sharing of information that contradicts the Kremlin’s account of its “special military operation” in Ukraine with up to 15 years in prison.