By Invitation

Why people kill

The face of Ukraine’s war criminal, aged 21, prompts a look at motivations for atrocities that even ordinary people are capable of, in certain circumstances. How to combat the killer within?

Vadim Shishimarin was the first Russian soldier to be convicted in May for the war crime of killing an unarmed civilian. PHOTO: REUTERS
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Many of us would have seen images of Russian tank commander Vadim Shishimarin in a Ukrainian court, wearing a blue and grey hooded sweatshirt, with his neck bent and his shaven head almost touching a glass partition.

Looking uncertain and very much his 21 years, he was the first Russian soldier to be convicted in May this year for the war crime of killing a 62-year-old unarmed civilian. He admitted to the shooting but said that he had been acting on orders.

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