Ukrainian court sentences two Russian soldiers to jail for war crimes

A Ukrainian court sentenced two captured Russian soldiers to 11 and a half years in jail on Tuesday for shelling a town in eastern Ukraine, the second war crimes verdict since the start of Russia’s invasion in February.

Alexander Bobikin and Alexander Ivanov, who listened to the verdict standing in a reinforced glass box at the Kotelevska district court in central Ukraine, both pleaded guilty last week.

“The guilt of Bobikin and Ivanov has been proven in full,” Judge Evhen Bolybok said.

Both acknowledged last week being part of an artillery unit that fired at targets in the Kharkiv region from the Belgorod region in Russia.

The shelling destroyed an educational facility in the town of Derhachi, but caused no casualties, the prosecutors said.

Bobikin and Ivanov, described as an artillery drivers and a gunner, were captured after crossing the border and continuing the shelling.

Prosecutors had asked the court to jail the Russian servicemen for 12 years, while the defense asked for leniency, saying the two soldiers had been following orders and repented.

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