Russian Soldier Becomes First Person Convicted Of War Crimes Since The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Began

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Russian Soldier Becomes First Person Convicted Of War Crimes Since The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Began

Photo: Vadim Shysimarin, 21, during the court hearing in Kyiv on Wednesday. Photograph: Efrem Lukatsky/AP


A Russian soldier has become the first person convicted for war-crimes since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia began on the 24th of February.


21-year-old Vadim Shysimarin, a tank commander, pled guilty to shooting dead a 62-year-old civilian with an AK-47 assault rifle in the north-eastern Sumy region.


It was said during the trial that the solider, who fired from the window of a car, had been instructed to kill the civilian by his commanding officer as they may have given information on Russian positions to the Ukrainian defenders.


Three judges will hear further evidence before confirming the conviction and handing down the sentence. A sentence of life imprisonment is the highest sentence that can be bestowed under Ukrainian law.


The trial has been conducted very speedily at a time when the war is still ongoing, and Ukrainians may be hoping that the conviction will dissuade others from carrying out war-crimes in the future.


Since Russia's brutal invasion, there have been countless incidents reported in which Russians have killed civilians and carried out looting and mass rape. In many liberated villages and towns outside of the capital Kiev, mass graves have been discovered containing hundreds of bodies. In the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol there are reports of mass killings of thousands of people, though no access to these crime scenes can be undertaken while the Russian forces remain in place.


Two more soldiers are to have their trails heard in the coming days, they too have been accused of killing Ukrainian civilians.


Holding a war-crimes trial during an ongoing conflict is not unheard of. A Bosnian-Serb soldier, Borislav Herak, was captured by the Bosnian army during the 1993 war in the Balkan country and put on trial while the conflict was ongoing. He was eventually convicted of 35 killings and 14 rapes, whilst also being convicted of genocide and crimes against civilians.


Russia has stated that recently captured Ukrainian fighters defending Mariupol may themselves be tried for various crimes in Russia. These court hearings are unlikely to be fair and independent and will more likely be used for propaganda purposes.


[Based on reporting by: The Guardian]


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Thinking Humanity: Russian Soldier Becomes First Person Convicted Of War Crimes Since The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Began
Russian Soldier Becomes First Person Convicted Of War Crimes Since The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Began
A Russian soldier has become the first person convicted for war-crimes since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia began on the 24th of February.
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