Russia said Tuesday, Oct. 31, three captured Ukrainian soldiers had been sentenced to life imprisonment on a range of crimes including murder and the "cruel treatment" of civilians.

Moscow has repeatedly handed captured Ukrainian soldiers long prison terms in court proceedings that Kyiv does not recognise on territory that Russia has seized.

Russia's Investigative Committee named the three soldiers as machine gunner assistant Denis Zalevsky, gunner Yevgeny Kiris and grenade launcher assistant Bogdan Kashpruk.

The three were found guilty of the "cruel treatment of civilians", the "use of prohibited methods in an armed conflict" and "murder and attempted murder", it said.

All three soldiers fought in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which was captured by Russian forces last May after a devastating, three-month siege that left the city in ruins.


The Russian-installed court in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region alleged that Zalevsky shot at three people with a Kalashnikov last March, killing two, while together with Kiris and Kashpruk they killed four men in vehicles.

The three were sentenced to life in prison, the Investigative Committee said.

Russia now claims Donetsk region as its own, along with the regions of Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, which it claimed to annex after a formal ceremony in Moscow last September.

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