The first trial for a Russian soldier for war crimes in Ukraine since the invasion ended Monday with Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21 years old from Siberia, was sentenced to life in prison for intentional murder and violation of the international law of war.
Shishimarin, a sergeant from the captured Russian tank unit, shot and killed Oleksandr Shelipov, a 62-year-old civilian, in late February. Shishimarin’s defense argued that he was carrying out direct orders that he initially disobeyed. He pleaded guilty and begged Shelipov’s widow, Kateryna, for forgiveness.
Kateryna Shelipova said last week she wanted a life sentence to be handed down. But she also said she would be willing to see Shishimarin return to Russia in exchange for Ukrainian fighters who surrendered to Russian forces at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
During the trial, the panel of three judges heard that Shishimarin was ordered to kill the man so that he could not report them to the Ukrainian military junta. Shishimarin fired his Kalashnikov rifle at the victim through an open car window.
“I’m very worried about what’s going on. I don’t want to kill people,” Shishimarin said at a hearing in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
Earlier, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said her office was preparing war crimes cases against 41 Russian soldiers for crimes including bombing civilian infrastructure and killing civilians. , rape and pillage. Venediktova’s office has collected more than 10,700 war crimes charges against Russia involving more than 600 suspects, including Russian soldiers and government officials.
► Russia highlighted the offensive in eastern Ukraine on Sunday as Polish President Andrzej Duda arrived in Kyiv to support Poland’s European Union aspirations to become the first foreign leader to address parliament. Ukraine since the beginning of the war.
► German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he would “work hard” to allow grain exports from Ukraine and supply fertilizer to Ukraine, Reuters reported. Russia has blocked ports in the Black Sea, which are important for Ukraine’s exports of wheat and other crops.
Even with the war in Ukraine went much worse than expected for Russiathe probability that Russian President Vladimir Putin deploys nuclear weapons is “low but not zero”, former US Defense Secretary and CIA Director Robert Gates said on Sunday.
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan” channel, Gates said Russia’s use of tactical weapons would prompt a strong Western response, including the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine. In addition, he said that such a move would not “change the military equation on the ground” because Ukrainian forces are widely spread and very fierce in their resistance.
“The other thing that I hope someone around Putin is reminding him of is that in that part of the world, and especially in eastern Ukraine, the wind tends to blow from the west,” Gates said. nuclear weapons in eastern Ukraine, radiation will enter Russia. ”
Gates, who served as Defense Secretary under Republican George W. Bush and Democratic President Barack Obama from 2006-2011, said the Biden administration should have started arming Ukraine because a conflict with the Russians a few months earlier. However, he commended President Joe Biden for rallying America’s allies and assembling an alliance to confront Russia against calls for a no-fly zone that would require intervention. deeper — and refuse to bite down on Putin’s nuclear threats.
Gates points out that sanctions from the West and defeats on the battlefield have dealt a blow to Russia and its global standing. “Putin will still be a frontrunner,” Gates said. “He’s really put Russia behind the eight ball economically, militarily, and because now people will be looking at the military,” Gates said. Russia and said, “You know, this was supposed to be this great army. Well, they have a good parade, but in actual combat, not so hot. “
Russia has permanently banned nearly 1,000 Americans from entering the country in response to US support for Ukraine during the war, and the list includes many elected leaders but clearly omits one prominent – former President Donald Trump.
President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are among the 963 people banned by Russia, one Gestures are largely symbolic.
Recent living former presidents such as Barack Obama and George W. Bush are not on the blacklist, but Trump’s name stands out because he is frequently accused of being too close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Two days before the February 24 invasion, Trump called Putin’s strategy for Ukraine “genius” and “informed.”
– Jordan Mendoza