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Two Russian soldiers have pleaded guilty Thursday to shelling a town in eastern Ukraine in the country’s latest war crimes trial.
The admissions come just days after a 21-year-old Russian soldier was sentenced to life in prison for shooting a 62-year-old man in the head in the early days of the war.
Prosecutors asked a district court Thursday to sentence Alexander Bobikin and Alexander Ivanov to 12 years each after the pair admitted to firing at targets in the Kharkiv region from the Belgorod border region in Russia, according to Reuters.
The strikes reportedly destroyed an educational facility in the town of Derhachi.
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Their defense lawyer though is asking for leniency, claiming the soldiers – one an artillery driver and the other a gunner – were just following military orders and have repented for their actions.
“I am completely guilty of the crimes of which I am accused. We fired at Ukraine from Russia,” Bobikin told the court, according to Reuters.
“I repent and ask for a reduction in the sentence,” Ivanov reportedly added.
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Both soldiers were captured after they crossed the border in Ukraine and continued shelling, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said.
A verdict in the trial is expected by the end of May.