Kyiv: Prosecutors in Ukraine have requested a life sentence for a Russian soldier on trial for war crimes. The development was the first since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reports citing Agence France-Presse journalists' accounts.
The 21-year-old Russian army sergeant was asked to be sentenced for killing 62-year-old civilian Oleksandr Shelipov during the days of the invasion. The killing took place near the northeastern village of Chupakhivka on February 28.
This was during a landmark trial initiated against the soldiers, along with two other soldiers at the Ukrainian court on Thursday for crimes against civilians.
In the court, the soldier had described how he had shot the man dead and asked the victim's widow to forgive him. He added that another soldier pressurized him to kill her husband.
The soldier, Shishimarin, submitted before the court that after a group of Russian soldiers, including him, stole a car to get back to where the army was and back to Russia, they met the victim. The victim said that he would give the group of soldiers up, and that is when an "unknown" soldier in his group asked him to shoot the man.
He told the court that the other soldier pressurized him saying that if he didn't kill the man, he would be putting the group in danger. So he shot the man at close range. Another captive soldier backed the Shishimarin's claims, saying that the unknown soldier shouted at him in a commanding voice. But he testified that Shishimarin wasn't obliged to obey the unknown's orders.
Shelipova, the wife of the victim, asked what the Russians came to Ukraine for and to free Ukrainians from whom. She heard the shot while getting water from the wall. Her husband was in civilian clothing when she found him dead, shot in the head, she told the court.