Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison in Ukraine’s first war crimes trial since invasion

In a major development, a Ukrainian court on Monday sentenced a Russian soldier to life imprisonment for killing unarmed Ukrainian civilian, as the first war crimes trial stemming from Moscow’s February 24 invasion of the east European nation reached to an end.

Delivering the sentence, Judge Serhiy Agafonov said 21-year-old Vadim Shishimarin, a tank commander, carried out a ‘criminal order’ from a soldier of a higher rank by shooting a several shots at the victim’s head from an automatic weapon.

Last Wednesday, Shishimarin, whose trial started on May 13, pleaded guilty to killing 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov in the village of Chupakhiva, in northeastern Ukraine, on February 28.

On May 19, a day after the young Russian soldier pleaded guilty to the murder, Ukrainian prosecutors ask judge Agafonov to send the former behind prison for the rest of his life.
During his trial, Shishimarin testified he killed the victim on the orders of an officer who, he said, insisted that the man could inform the Ukrainian forces about the duo’s location.

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