Two Russian soldiers plead guilty in war crimes trial
Two Russian soldiers on Thursday pleaded guilty to war crimes in the second such trial of the unprovoked war in Ukraine.
Driving the news: State prosecutors asked for Alexander Bobikin and Alexander Ivanov to be jailed for 12 years for shelling a town in eastern Ukraine, a violation of the laws of war, Reuters reports.
- The two captured Russian soldiers acknowledged that they were involved in shelling in the Kharkiv region, which destroyed an educational establishment in the town of Derhachi.
- The defense lawyer asked for leniency for the soldiers, saying they were following orders.
- "I am completely guilty of the crimes of which I am accused. We fired at Ukraine from Russia," Bobikin said in court proceedings, per Reuters.
- "I repent and ask for a reduction in the sentence," Ivanov said.
The big picture: Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old Russian soldier, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for committing war crimes during Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
- Shishimarin was found guilty of firing several shots at and killing an unarmed resident in a Sumy village near the Russian border.
- Shishimarin's trial is believed to be the first war crimes trial since Russia's invasion began in February.
What to watch: The final verdict is set to take place on May 31, per Reuters.