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