Ukraine sentences Russian soldiers to life “killing civilians”

A Ukrainian court sentenced 21-year-old Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin to life imprisonment for the murder of a civilian in a village in the north-east of the country.

Judge Serhiy Agafonov today sentenced Vadim Shishimarin to life imprisonment during a trial in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, days after the Russian soldier admitted to charges of war crimes and attempted murder.

Shishimarin remained silent and showed no emotion upon hearing the verdict.

According to the Ukrainian indictment, on February 28, Shishimarin carried out “illegal orders” from his superiors and fired several shots at Oleksandr Shelipov, a 62-year-old civilian in the village of Chupakhivka in Sumy province in north-eastern Ukraine. This is the first time Ukraine has tried a Russian soldier for “war crimes” since the conflict erupted on February 24.

Vadim Shishimarin during his trial today in Kyiv, Ukraine.  Photo: Reuters.

Vadim Shishimarin during his trial today in Kyiv, Ukraine. Picture: Reuters.

Russian officials have not commented on the report. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said before the trial that he had received no information about Shishimarin’s case and that he was only able to provide limited help due to the lack of diplomatic representation.

According to the Red Cross Committee and International Human Rights Watch, prisoners of war cannot be prosecuted on the grounds that they are directly involved in armed conflict. However, they can be prosecuted for war crimes, i.e. acts contrary to international law while fighting and controlling enemy territory, such as B. deliberate attacks on civilians, attacks on hospitals, schools and historical sites.

The Ukrainian authorities have stepped up their efforts to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Russia. Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova has announced that 41 Russian soldiers will be tried for attacking civilian infrastructure, killing, looting and raping civilians. It is not clear how many Russian soldiers will be tried in Ukraine and how many will be tried in absentia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had set up a special mechanism to investigate “Russian crimes” with the participation of domestic and international experts.

Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations from Kiev and the West, saying that Ukraine was the one who committed the crime and orchestrated the killing of civilians. Moscow has also repeatedly claimed that it only targets military targets. Russian officials are also preparing “war crimes” trials against Ukrainian soldiers.

vu appendix (Corresponding Reuters)