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Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison for war crimes in Ukraine UK News

A soldier fighting for Russia in its conflict with neighboring Ukraine has been sentenced to life in prison for war crimes he committed. A Ukrainian court has heard that Vadim Shishimarin killed a 62-year-old man at the start of the war which has now lasted three months. The 21-year-old sergeant pleaded guilty to the charge, reports HullLive.

The soldier shot the civilian in the head through the open window of a car while fighting in the Sumy region of northeastern Ukraine on February 28, four days after the start of the the invasion. Shishimarin is a captured tank unit officer and was prosecuted under a part of Ukraine’s criminal code that deals with the laws and customs of war.

Iryna Venediktova, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor, previously said her office was investigating war crimes against 41 Russian soldiers. These range from killing civilians to looting, rape and bombings of infrastructure used by the public.

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Although it is unclear how many suspects will be tried in person, it is reported that there are more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving 600 suspects, including Russian government figures. Evidence is being collected for possible trials at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

According to Ms Venediktova’s Facebook account, Shishimarin was among a group of Russian soldiers fleeing Ukrainian forces on February 28. They fired on a private car before seizing the vehicle which they drove to the village of Chupakhivka, about 200 miles from kyiv.

Heading towards the village, Ms Venediktova said the Russians noticed a man walking along a sidewalk and talking on the phone. Shishimarin was ordered to kill him in case the man reported them to authorities, the attorney general said.

The man was killed a few dozen meters from his home. Ukraine’s security service – the SBU – released a video on May 4 of Shishimarin speaking on camera about the incident and how he shot the civilian.

“I was ordered to shoot,” Shyshimarin said. “I fired a (shot) at him. He falls. And we kept going.”

There are reports that Russia is preparing war crimes trials against Ukrainian soldiers.

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