Russian contract soldier Aleksey Usenko received 10 years in a strict regime colony for the murder of a fighter of the National Guard, whom he mistook for a "Ukrainian saboteur". Writes about this "Kommersant".
The murder was committed last year in a war zone in Ukraine. Usenko was then part of a military column that was moving towards the positions of the first line. He stopped a car that was heading in the same direction as two employees of the National Guard. Usenko pointed a machine gun at them and demanded to leave.
The driver of the car, according to his testimony, introduced himself and took out his identity documents. However, at that moment, Usenko fired at the second soldier, mortally wounding him in the stomach. After that, he took aim at the driver and ordered him to lie down on the ground.
Other servicemen, who heard the shot, ran to the scene of the murder and persuaded Usenko to unfasten the magazine from the machine gun and surrender his weapon. According to them, the contractor was drunk, behaved "aggressively and inappropriately" and said that he had detained Ukrainian saboteurs. At the same time, the degree of Usenko's alcohol intoxication was not established by the examination, the conclusions in this part are based only on the testimony of witnesses.
During the investigation, Usenko himself insisted on his innocence, arguing that he did not shoot at anyone and had no such intentions, and the fire allegedly could have been opened by saboteurs or other Russian military personnel.
The defendant also pointed out that only one witness had given evidence that it was he who had shot the man, who could make a mistake in the dark. Moreover, as Kommersant notes, the bullet was never found, there were no traces of gunpowder on Usenko’s hands, and the cartridge case, taken from the pocket of his pea coat, had a whole gunpowder igniter primer.
The non-involvement of the contractor in the murder, according to the defense, was also evidenced by a psychophysiological study conducted with him - a polygraph test.