Ukrainian court finds two Russian soldiers guilty of war crimes

The captured soldiers were each sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for shelling a civilian area in the Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine.

A Ukrainian court has sentenced two captured Russian soldiers to more than 11 years each for shelling a civilian area in the eastern part of the country during the Moscow offensive.

The sentencing of Alexander Bobikin and Alexander Ivanov on Tuesday was the second verdict in a war crimes trial in Ukraine since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Bobikin and Ivanov watched the proceedings from a tempered glass case at the Kotelevska District Court in central Ukraine, where both pleaded guilty last week to “violating the laws and customs of war”.

“The guilt of Bobbykin and Ivanov has been fully proven,” Judge Evan Bolibock said. Moscow did not immediately respond to the verdict.

The two admitted to being part of an artillery unit that opened fire on targets in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine from the neighboring Belgorod region of Russia.

Prosecutors said the shelling destroyed a school in the town of Dehachi but caused no casualties. Bobikin and Ivanov, described as a gunner and gunner, were arrested after allegedly crossing the border and continuing the shelling.

Prosecutors had asked the court to sentence the Russian soldiers to 12 years in prison, while their defenders asked for leniency, saying the two soldiers had been following orders and repenting.

Thousands of civilians killed

Tuesday’s developments follow last week’s Kyiv court Russian soldier Vadim Shihmarin, 21, sentenced Sentenced to life in prison for killing unarmed Ukrainian civilians.

Shishimarin is accused of shooting 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov in the head early in the war in the Sumy region of northeastern Ukraine. His lawyers said they would appeal the verdict.

More such tests are expected in Ukraine and Russia, which has often denied that its forces targeted civilians or carried out war crimes and is thought to be preparing his own hearing for captured Ukrainian soldiers.

Ukraine’s attorney general’s office said it was investigating more than 14,000 alleged war crimes committed by Moscow’s military.

More than 4,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine, including dozens of children, since President Vladimir Putin launched the Russian offensive, according to the United Nations.

The death toll includes many victims of alleged war crimes in areas currently or formerly occupied by Russian forces, such as Mariupol and Butcha.

The United Nations said it believed the true number of civilian casualties could be “much higher” because the ongoing hostilities made it difficult to count the dead and many reports of the killings remained to be confirmed.

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