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Ukraine’s 1st War Crimes Trial: 21-Yr-Old Russian Soldier Gets Life in Prison

He pled guilty to fatally shooting a civilian, 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov, near the village of Chupakhivk.

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A 21-year-old Russian soldier named Vadim Shishimarin was found guilty on Monday, 23 May, of killing an unarmed civilian in Ukraine.

This was the first war crimes trial since Russia invaded the country on 24 February.

Shishimarin was sentenced to life in prison.

He pled guilty to fatally shooting a civilian, 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov, near the village of Chupakhivk in late February.

The rules and customs of war were violated by the Russian soldier, according to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova.

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Shishimarin heard his long verdict from inside a glass box for defendants. Head bowed, he heard the translation of the judge's words by a court-appointed translator, reported The Guardian.

The soldier has been accused of firing shots at a civilian from a car on orders. When asked if he was obliged to follow the order that was tantamount to a war crime, Shishimarin replied in the negative.

His Ukrainian lawyer, Viktor Ovsyannikov, had asked judges in the Kyiv courtroom to acquit him despite the latter pleading guilty, on the basis that he had executed a military order.

While Shishimarin is the first one to be convicted of war crimes, Ukrainian authorities say they have tracked and gathered evidence of more than 10,000 war crimes across the country.

(With inputs from Reuters and The Guardian.)

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Edited By :Saundarya Talwar
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