Ukraine war: Russian soldier, convicted for killing unarmed civilian, gets life term

The trial of 21-year-old tank commander Vadim Shishimarin was the first war crimes trial stemming from Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Russian army Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, 21, is seen behind a glass during a court hearing in Kyiv, Ukraine. (AP)
Russian army Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, 21, is seen behind a glass during a court hearing in Kyiv, Ukraine. (AP)
Published on May 23, 2022 03:59 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

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

Also Read | ‘Shot him at short range’: Russian soldier during first war crime trial

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 firing several shots at the victim’s head from an automatic weapon.

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

Also Read | 'Forgive me…': Russian soldier to wife of Ukraine civilian he murdered

On May 19, a day after the young Russian soldier pleaded guilty to the murder, Ukrainian prosecutors urge 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 tell the Ukrainian forces about the duo's location.

 

Russia has been accused of committing war crimes at various points during the ongoing invasion, a charge which Kremlin has repeatedly denied. The most serious allegations of war crimes against Russian forces come from Bucha; Moscow, however, refuted the allegations and instead accused Kyiv of carrying out a ‘false flag’ operation.

The alleged war crimes in Bucha led to Russia losing its primary membership of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

(With agency inputs)

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