A court in Kyiv has jailed a Russian tank commander for life for killing a civilian at the first war crimes trial since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24.

Captured soldier Sgt Vadim Shishimarin was convicted of killing Oleksandr Shelipov, 62, in the north-eastern village of Chupakhivka, Sumy Region, on Feb. 28. He admitted shooting the victim but said he had been acting on orders and asked forgiveness of his widow.

Judge Serhiy Ahafonov said Shishimarin had carried out a “criminal order” by a soldier of higher rank.  Shishimarin, wearing a blue and grey hooded sweatshirt, watched proceedings silently from a reinforced glass box in the courtroom.

Shishimarin, 21, served in Russia’s Kantemirovskaya tank division.


Multiple other alleged war crimes by Russia’s armed forces are being investigated by Ukraine.


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