Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison for Ukraine war crime | USA TODAY

In the first trial of a Russian soldier for war crimes in Ukraine, Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin was sentenced to life in prison for premeditated murder.

RELATED: Zelenskyy gives update on Donbas region, reveals more Russian attacks

Shishimarin, a captured Russian tank-unit sergeant, fatally shot Oleksandr Shelipov, a 62-year-old civilian, in the head in late February. Shishimarin had pleaded guilty, but his defense had argued he was carrying out a direct order that he initially disobeyed.

Last week Shishimarin had asked Shelipov’s widow, Kateryna, for forgiveness. She said she wanted a life sentence to be handed down, but also that she would be willing to see Shishimarin returned to Russia in an exchange for Ukrainian fighters who surrendered to Russian forces at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

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