Ukrainian Court Finds Two Russian Soldiers Guilty of War Crimes


A Ukrainian court has sentenced two captured Russian soldiers to more than 11 years in jail each for shelling a civilian area in the country’s east amid Moscow’s offensive. Tuesday’s sentencing of Alexander Bobikin and Alexander Ivanov is the second verdict handed down in war crimes trials held by Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion in late February. Bobikin and Ivanov, who watched proceedings at the Kotelevska district court in central Ukraine from within a reinforced glass box, both pleaded guilty last week to “violating the laws and customs of war.” “The guilt of Bobikin and Ivanov has been proven in full,” Judge Evhen Bolybok said. There was no immediate response to the judgement from Moscow. 

The pair had acknowledged being part of an artillery unit that fired at targets in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region from the neighboring Belgorod region in Russia. The shelling destroyed a school in the town of Derhachi but caused no casualties, prosecutors said. Bobikin and Ivanov, described as an artillery driver and a gunner, were allegedly captured after crossing the border and continuing the shelling. Prosecutors had asked the court to jail the Russian service members for 12 years, while their defense asked for leniency, saying the two soldiers had been following orders and repented. 

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