A Ukrainian court on Tuesday sentenced two Russian soldiers captured for shelling two villages in northwestern Ukraine with multiple missile launchers to 11 1/2 years in prison. This is the second verdict for war crimes since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February.
The shelling destroyed an educational center in the city of Derhachi, but caused no casualties, according to prosecutors.
Alexander Bobikin and Alexander Ivanov, who heard the verdict standing in a reinforced glass box at the Kotelevska district court in central Ukraine, pleaded guilty last week.
"The guilt of Bobikin and Ivanov has been fully established," Judge Evhen Bolybok said.
Both admitted last week to having been part of an artillery unit that fired at targets in the Kharkov region from Russia's Belgorod region.
The soldiers were found guilty of "violating the uses and customs of war" after a trial that began in mid-May in Ukraine, according to the Interfax-Ukraine agency, which explained that the two defendants had "fully admitted their guilt and declared that they were sorry, "reports Afp.
Bobikin and Ivanov, described as an artillery driver and gunner, were captured after crossing the border and continuing the shelling.
Prosecutors had asked the court to jail the Russian servicemen for 12 years, while the defense pleaded for leniency, saying the two soldiers had followed orders and repented, Reuters reports.