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Verdict Reached in First Russian War Crimes Trial

The following article, Verdict Reached in First Russian War Crimes Trial, was first published on Flag And Cross.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a brutal one, and increasingly so as the Kremlin’s soldiers find themselves in more and more trouble of their own making.

As the war grows ever more impossible for Russia to win, the troops sent into Ukraine have been committing a series of worsening atrocities.  It’s terrorism at the least, (and very likely a full-fledge genocide), and it belies just how poorly things are going for Russia.

Now, in the first war crimes trial of the conflict, a verdict has been reached.

In the first of what could be a multitude of war crimes trials held by Ukraine, Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was sentenced for the killing of a 62-year-old man who was shot in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the opening days of the war.

Shishimarin, a member of a tank unit, had claimed he was following orders, and he apologized to the man’s widow in court.

His Ukraine-appointed defense attorney, Victor Ovsyanikov, argued his client had been unprepared for the “violent military confrontation” and mass casualties that Russian troops encountered when they invaded. He said he would appeal.

There was no doubt about the court’s legitimacy, either.

Ukrainian civil liberties advocate Volodymyr Yavorskyy said it was “an extremely harsh sentence for one murder during the war.” But Aarif Abraham, a British-based human rights lawyer, said the trial was conducted “with what appears to be full and fair due process,” including access to an attorney.

Given the sheer amount of heinous deeds the world has witnessed in Ukraine, there is no doubt that more war crimes trials will be coming.

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