Two Russian soldiers plead guilty in new war crimes trial in Ukraine
Two captured Russian soldiers pleaded guilty on Thursday to shelling a town in eastern Ukraine in the second war crimes trial of the war.
At the trial in the Kotelevska district court in central Ukraine, state prosecutors asked for Alexander Bobikin and Alexander Ivanov to be jailed for 12 years for violating the laws of war.
A defence lawyer asked for leniency, saying the two soldiers had been following orders and repented.
Bobikin and Ivanov, who stood in a reinforced glass box, acknowledged 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 establishment in the town of Derhachi, the prosecutors said.
The servicemen, described as an artillery driver and a gunner, were captured after crossing the border and continuing the shelling, the prosecutor general's office said.