Ukrainian court jails Russian soldier for ten years

A view shows a residential building destroyed in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine.

A Ukrainian court sentenced a Russian soldier to 10 years in jail on Monday after finding him guilty of violating the laws and customs of war by firing a tank at a multi-storey apartment block, an interior ministry official said.

The court in northeast Chernihiv found Mikhail Kulikov, who was captured while fighting, guilty of hitting the residential building on February 26, two days after Russia invaded Ukraine, said Anton Herashchenko, an aide to Ukraine’s interior minister.

Kulikov pleaded guilty at the trial and sought a more lenient punishment because he said he had been following orders, the Ukrainian general prosecutor’s office said.

The residential block that was hit in the city of Chernihiv was not a military target or being used for military purposes, it said.

Russia denies its forces deliberately target civilians in what it calls a special military operation.

Ukraine is investigating almost 26,000 suspected war crimes that were committed during the war and has charged 135 people, its chief war crimes prosecutor said last week.

Of those charged, around 15 are in Ukrainian custody and the remaining 120 remain at large, the prosecutor said.

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