Meet Vadim Shishimarin, 21
On Monday, a Ukrainian court sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison for killing a Ukrainian civilian, in the first war crimes trial held since Russia's invasion on February 24.
Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin was accused of shooting a Ukrainian civilian in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the early days of the war. He pleaded guilty and testified that he shot the man after being ordered to do so. He told the court that an officer insisted that the Ukrainian man, speaking on his cellphone, could pinpoint their location to the Ukrainian forces.
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Vadim Shishimarin, a tank commander, had pleaded guilty to killing 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov in the northeastern Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on February 28, four days after the invasion.
Judge Serhiy Agafonov said Shishimarin, carrying out a "criminal order" by a soldier of higher rank, had fired several shots at the victim's head from an automatic weapon.
Shishimarin, wearing a blue and grey hooded sweatshirt, watched proceedings silently from a reinforced glass box in the courtroom and showed no emotion as the verdict was readout. He stood with his head bowed, listening to a translator.
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Shishmarin's lawyer, Viktor Ovsyannikov, said he was not surprised by the sentence because there had been "certain pressure from society" and said he would launch a legal appeal.
The Kremlin did not immediately comment on the verdict. It has previously said that it has no information about the trial and that the absence of a diplomatic mission in Ukraine limits its ability to provide assistance.
In court last week, Shishimarin acknowledged he was to blame and asked the victim's widow to forgive him.
(With Reuters inputs)
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