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Ukrainian court set to issue first war crimes verdict since invasion

Published May 23,2022
Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin, 21, suspected of violations of the laws and norms of war, stands inside a cage during a court hearing, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 23, 2022 (REUTERS)
A Ukrainian court is set to issue a verdict on Monday in the first war crimes trial since the start of Russia's invasion on February 24.

A 21-year-old Russian soldier testified in a court Kiev that he had shot a 62-year-old civilian in the village of Chupakhivka in the north-eastern Sumy region on orders from his superiors.

The prosecution has asked for life imprisonment. The defence argued for acquittal, saying the soldier was carrying out an order.

The soldier, who hails from Siberia, apologized for his actions during the trial.

"I regret it. I regret it very much. I did not refuse and I am ready to accept any measures imposed," he said in his closing remarks.

The sentence will only become final after a possible appeal. The trial started last week. It is possible that the man will be exchanged for Ukrainian prisoners in Russia.

Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine at the end of February. The United Nations has so far registered more than 3,800 civilians killed, but assumes that the number of victims is significantly higher.