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A 21-year-old Russian soldier has been sentenced to life in prison Monday in Ukraine’s first war crimes trial since President Vladimir Putin’s army invaded the country months ago.
Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin pleaded guilty last week to shooting a 62-year-old man in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the early days of the war.
Shishimarin testified that he shot Oleksandr Shelipov with an AK-47 on Feb. 28 after being ordered to do so.
He told the court that an officer insisted that Shelipov, who was speaking on his cellphone, could pinpoint their location to Ukrainian forces.
RUSSIAN SOLDIER ON TRIAL FOR WAR CRIMES BEGS FOR FORGIVENESS
“I know that you will not be able to forgive me, but nevertheless I ask you for forgiveness,” Shishimarin said last week prior to the sentencing.
Shelypov’s widow, Kateryna, had traveled roughly five hours to Kyiv to see the trial, according to the Daily Mail.
“He should rot in jail, and spend the rest of his days thinking about what he has done,” she reportedly told the outlet. “I came to see him in person. He looked like a child, but nevertheless he will get his punishment.”
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Shishimarin is one of many Russian soldiers who Ukraine expects to prosecute in the coming months.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova has stated that her office is pursuing cases against 41 Russian soldiers on charges of killing civilians, rape and others, according to the Associated Press.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom and the Associated Press contributed to this report.