May 23, 2022 - World

Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison in Ukraine war crimes trial

Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin of the Russian army appears at a sentencing hearing on May 23, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin appears at a sentencing hearing on May 23 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A Ukrainian court on Monday sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison for committing war crimes during Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, per multiple reports.

For the record: It's believed to be the first war crimes trial since Russia's invasion began in February.

Driving the news: Vadim Shishimarin was found guilty last week of firing several shots at and killing unarmed 62-year-old resident Oleksandr Shelipov, who was riding a bicycle by the roadside in a Sumy village near the Russian border.

  • Shelipov "died on the spot just a few meters from his home," said Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, per the Washington Post.
  • Shishimarin admitted that he fatally shot Shelipov, but said that he was following orders.

The big picture: Venediktova said last month that her office had opened 5,600 cases of alleged war crimes by Russian soldiers since the start of the invasion.

Go deeper... What counts as a war crime and why they're so hard to prosecute

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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