A Russian soldier is sentenced in Ukraine to life in prison for war crimes

A Russian soldier is sentenced in Ukraine to life in prison for war crimes

The Kremlin offers help to its soldier

The Kremlin assured this Monday that it will look for options to help its condemned soldier.

“Of course, we are concerned about the fate of our citizen,” spokesman for the Russian Presidency, Dmitri Peskov, said at the daily telephone press conference, moments before hearing the ruling of a Ukrainian court against Vadim Shishimarin, the first Russian soldier prosecuted in Ukraine for war crimes.

Peskov said that, unfortunately, Moscow has practically no chance to protect the interests of this soldier in Ukraine, since there are no Russian diplomatic missions in that country.

“But that doesn’t mean we won’t consider trying through other channels,” he said.

“The fate of every citizen of Russia is of utmost importance to us,” he stressed.

“The bar is very high”

Ukrainian prosecutors said Shishimarin and four other Russian servicemen stole a car to escape after their column was targeted by Ukrainian forces.

After entering Chupakhivka, the soldiers saw Shelipov riding a bicycle and talking on the phone. According to the prosecution, Shishimarin was ordered to kill Shelipov to prevent him from reporting his location.

Last week, Shishimarin admitted his guilt and apologized to the victim’s widow.

Russian soldier confesses to war crime and apologizes in Ukraine

Mark Ellis, chief executive of the International Bar Association, said the verdict was “not surprising” and could be the first part of “a big puzzle that also involves Ukrainian soldiers detained in Russia.”

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“If this is the benchmark trial (…) it sets the bar very high,” he said. “For most other war crimes cases in Ukraine I suspect we will see similar sentences because this is the benchmark trial.”

With information from EFE and Reuters