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Russian soldier convicted of war crime — one of 13,000 probes, says Ukrainian official

Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin was sentenced to life in prison on May 23 for killing a civilian in Ukraine’s first war crimes trial since Russia's invasion. (Video: The Washington Post)
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A Kyiv court found a Russian soldier who killed an unarmed civilian guilty in the first war crimes trial since the invasion — as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking virtually to the World Economic Forum in Davos, accused Russia of “becoming a state of war criminals.”

Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old Russian tank commander who pleaded guilty last week to killing a 62-year-old Ukrainian man but said he was following orders, was convicted of premeditated murder and “violation of the rules and customs of war.” He was sentenced to life in prison, and his lawyer said he would appeal. Ukraine’s prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said the verdict represents one of about 13,000 ongoing investigations into suspected war crimes committed by Russian forces and officials.

Meanwhile, the battle for Severodonetsk is becoming a focal point in the war as Russia, after seizing the southeastern port of Mariupol, seeks to capture one of the last major cities in a key eastern province still under Ukrainian control.

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