Russian soldier sentenced to life in Ukraine’s first war crimes trial

Invasion Day 89 Updates

  • A kyiv court convicts a 21-year-old Russian soldier for killing an unarmed Ukrainian civilian.

  • The Ukrainian president calls for severe sanctions against Russia to deter “any other potential aggressor”.

  • Russian forces occupy several towns and villages in Luhansk after constant shelling.

A Ukrainian court on Monday sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison for the murder of a Ukrainian civilian, sealing the first war crimes conviction since the invasion of Moscow three months ago.

sergeant. Vadim Shishimarin pleaded guilty to shooting a Ukrainian civilian in the head in a village in the northeast region of Sumy at the start of the war.

He testified that he shot the man after being ordered to. He told the court that an officer insisted that the Ukrainian man, who was talking on his mobile phone, be able to report their location to Ukrainian forces.

The condemnation in kyiv came as the three-month war has helped push the number of displaced people around the world to the highest level ever, according to the United Nations, with more than 100 million people forced from their homes across the world. According to the UN, the war in Ukraine has displaced around eight million people inside the country and forced six million people to leave.

Call for tougher penalties

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the World Economic Forum at its opening in Davos, Switzerland, calling for “maximum” sanctions against Russia.

He said sanctions must go further to stop Russia’s aggression, including an oil embargo, blocking all its banks and completely cutting off trade with Russia.

“This is what the sanctions should be: they should be maximum, so that Russia and any other potential aggressor who wants to wage a brutal war against its neighbor clearly know the immediate consequences of their actions,” Zelensky said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is seen on a screen as he addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Monday. (Markus Schreibe/Associated Press)

He said it should be a precedent that will work for decades. He also pushed for the complete withdrawal of foreign companies from Russia to prevent supporting his war and said Ukraine needed funding – at least US$5 billion a month.

Major Group of Seven economies agreed on Friday to provide US$19.8 billion in economic aid to Ukraine to help it prevent stretched finances from hampering its ability to defend itself.

Zelensky said the courage of his people had sparked an unseen unity of the democratic world.

His speech was a key feature in Davos, the village in the Swiss Alps that has been transformed into a glitzy venue for the four-day conference ostensibly dedicated to making the world a better place. The in-person event resumes after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also delayed this year’s meeting from its usual winter slot due to uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant.

For participants, there is a lot to face in the face of soaring food and fuel prices, Russia’s war in Ukraine, climate change, inequality and ongoing health crises. But it’s hard to predict whether the ambitious talks will result in substantial announcements that will advance the world’s most pressing challenges.

“This war is truly a turning point in history and it will reshape our political and economic landscape for years to come,” said event founder Klaus Schwab.

“Scorched earth approach” in the Donbass

In eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian forces dug in around Severodonetsk, the main city under Ukrainian control in Luhansk province of Donbass, as Russia stepped up efforts to capture it. Governor Serhiy Haidai accused the Russians of “simply intentionally trying to destroy the city…to engage in a scorched earth approach”.

Haidai said on Sunday that the Russians had occupied several towns and villages in Lugansk after round-the-clock indiscriminate shelling and concentrating forces and weapons there, bringing in troops from Kharkiv in the northwest, Mariupol in the south and the interior of Russia.

But the Ukrainian military said Russian forces were unsuccessful in their attack on Oleksandrivka, a village outside Severodonetsk.

Ukraine’s parliament voted on Sunday to extend martial law and mobilize its armed forces for the third time, until August 23. were being killed, seemingly daily, in the east.

While the east is now at the center of the leaks, the conflict is not limited there. Powerful explosions were heard early Monday in Korosten, about 160 kilometers west of kyiv, the city’s deputy mayor said. It was the third consecutive day of apparent attacks in Zhytomyr district, Ukrainian news agencies reported.

US and Japanese leaders condemn invasion

On Monday in Tokyo, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida joined in condemning Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Earlier in his Asia trip, Biden signed legislation giving Ukraine an additional $40 billion in US support for its defense against the Russian attack.

Polish President Andrzej Duda traveled to Kyiv on Sunday to support Ukraine’s European Union aspirations and addressed the Ukrainian parliament, receiving a standing ovation when he thanked lawmakers for letting him go express themselves where “the heart of a free, independent and democratic Ukraine beat”.

WATCH | What happened in week 13 of the Russian attack on Ukraine:

What happened in week 13 of Russia’s attack on Ukraine

The Ukrainian fighters who hold the last stronghold of Mariupol surrender and are taken as prisoners of war in the territory controlled by Russia. The Russian soldier tried for the first war crime of the conflict pleads guilty. In Kharkiv, Ukrainian troops are able to push the Russians back to the border. Here is a recap of the war in Ukraine from May 14-20.

Poland has become an important ally of Ukraine, hosting millions of Ukrainian refugees and becoming a gateway for Western humanitarian aid and weapons and a transit point for some foreign fighters who have volunteered to fight. Russian forces.

Western support – both financial and military – has been key to Ukraine’s defence, helping its outgunned and outnumbered forces repel Russia’s attempt to take the capital of kyiv and fight them at stopping in other places. In the face of these setbacks, Moscow has set more limited goals in Ukraine, with its focus now on trying to expand territory that Russian-backed separatists have held since 2014.