Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison in Ukraine's first war crimes trial

The 21-year-old soldier shot a 62-year-old man in the head toward the beginning of the war.

Updated: May 23, 2022 - 7:54am

A Ukrainian court on Monday sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison for killing a civilian.

The sentencing and guilty plea of Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin marks the first conviction for a war crime in connection with Russia's now roughly three-months long invasion of Ukraine.

Shishimarin pleaded guilty to shooting a 62-year-old man in the head in a small northeastern village near the start of the war.

He told the court that he shot Oleksandr Shelipov after being ordered by his superior to do so. An officer had insisted that Shelipov, who was speaking on his cellphone at the time, was able to transmit information about their location back to Ukrainian forces.

Ukrainian prosecutors continue to investigate thousands of possible war crimes, including the Russian bombing of a maternity hospital and a movie theater in which civilians were sheltering.

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