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HomeWorld NewsTwo Russian soldiers plead guilty in new war crimes trial in Ukraine

Two Russian soldiers plead guilty in new war crimes trial in Ukraine

War is defined as a state of conflict, but what is war when one country surpasses conflict, turning it into terror? Today, two captured Russian soldiers pleaded guilty to shelling an entire town in Eastern Ukraine. Prosecutors said the shelling led to the destruction of an educational establishment in the village of Derhachi. This war crimes court case is the second having to do with the current Russo-Ukraine conflict and happens to be the second case where the defendant admits guilt.

At the trial in the Kotelevska district court in central Ukraine, state prosecutors asked for the two Russian troopers, identified as Alexander Bobikin and Alexander Ivanov, to be jailed for twelve years after having admitted to violating the laws of war. 

With the Russian pair placed in the security of a reinforced glass box, they both blindly admitted guilt however maintained their ego through the court proceedings. Ivanov requested that he not be handed the maximum jail term saying, “I repent and ask for a reduction in the sentence.” Whereas Bobikin told the court, “I am completely guilty of the crimes I am accused of. We fired at Ukraine from Russia,” 

The men’s defense lawyer requested leniency, saying the two soldiers had been following orders and have since repented. It seemed as if the pair admitted their guilt to deflect all blame onto Russia rather than them personally, giving the jury almost a whiplash effect, not knowing where or who to place blame on. It seems almost ironic for the Russian troopers to ask empathy from a country they’ve admitted to tearing apart and still have the ability to request sympathy.

The hearing lasted for less than an hour, and the verdict is expected on May 31.

Russia continues to deny targeting civilians or involvement in war crimes. It is intriguing to watch how Russian troopers proceed in their trials. Perhaps a pattern will begin to emerge as various War Crime trials continue and are expected to occur in both Ukraine and Russia. 



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