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Kiev court commences Russian serviceman’s life sentence appeal — report

The serviceman’s lawyer Viktor Ovsyannikov called the life sentence too harsh

KIEV, July 13. /TASS/. A Kiev court commenced reviewing the appeal filed by Russian serviceman Vadim Shishimarin against his life sentence, Ukrainian media reported Wednesday.

According to the report, the serviceman’s lawyer Viktor Ovsyannikov called the life sentence too harsh, considering the voluntary surrender and confession, both of which are. The lawyer asked the court to exonerate his client on charges of violation of rules and customs of war, insisting that the court classified his actions wrongly. In particular, the defense claimed that Shishimarin was not shooting to kill.

The prosecution insisted that the sentence must not be changed. The hearing was then closed; the next hearing was scheduled for July 25.

On May 23, the Kiev court sentenced Shishimarin over charges of murdering a civilian in the Sumy Region. He became the first Russian serviceman to be convicted by a Ukrainian court.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova speculated that Shishimarin could be exchanged. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said later that any discussion of exchange of prisoners between Moscow and Kiev will be possible after the trial over surrendered Ukrainian militants is over.