Russian Soldier Sentenced to Life in Prison for War Crimes

    Photo: AP [via Washington Post]

    The Facts

    • Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old Russian Sergeant was found guilty Mon. of killing a 62-year-old unarmed civilian in Ukraine's first war crimes trial since Russia's invasion. Shishimarin was sentenced to life in prison.

    • In the trial, the Sergeant pleaded "guilty" but said he had been acting on orders from his superiors. The court in Kyiv found Shishimarin guilty of premeditated murder and violating "the rules and customs of war" under Ukraine's criminal code.


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The scale of atrocities committed by the Russian army in Ukraine is yet to be assessed, as cases of rape, murder, torture, and mass burials keep piling up. Sgt. Shysimarin's trial is but the first step in a long road to holding Russia - which has been accused of nearly 10K war crimes over the course of the war - accountable.

    Anti-Russia narrative

    The scale of atrocities committed by the Russian army in Ukraine is yet to be assessed. Cases of rape, murder, torture, and mass burials are piling up. Sgt. Shysimarin's trial will be the first of many, as Ukraine claims Russia has committed nearly 10K war crimes over the course of the war.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While nothing justifies alleged Russian war crimes, where was the outrage when systematic human rights abuses were being committed by Ukrainian forces over the past eight years of war in the Donbas? Ukraine certainly turned a blind eye when nationalists created a prison at the Mariupol airport in June 2014, subjecting residents to brutal treatment for even the suspicion of harboring sympathies for Russia.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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