Ukrainian prosecutor says it could exchange Russian soldier

Ukrainian prosecutor says it could exchange Russian soldier

The Ukrainian prosecutor general said it was possible but it depends on the politicians.

Ukrainian prosecutor General Irina Venediktova has not ruled out the possibility of exchanging Vadim Shishimarin, the first Russian soldier sentenced by a court in Kiev for war crimes.

On Monday, the 21-year-old sergeant was sentenced to life for fatally shooting an elderly civilian named Alexander Shelipov in the northeastern Sumy Region of Ukraine. Shishimarin's lawyers say they are going to appeal the decision of the court.

Venediktova spoke about the case from the perspective of criminal justice during a national telethon on Tuesday, because she stressed that exchanges of prisoners of war were a matter for politicians and diplomats.

Our scenarios can be completely different. After court rulings, you can exchange a person. She claimed that it is possible.

Venediktova said that the Ukrainian authorities are in compliance with all humanitarian law requirements and that the whole world is watching such lawsuits and that Ukraine must set high standards. The widow of Shishimarin s victim Ekaterina Shelipova said during her appearance in court that she would like to see Shishimarin get a life sentence.

She said that if he is replaced by our Azovstal defenders, I will not object, referring to the Ukrainian troops surrendered last week after a weeks-long blockade of Azovstal, a heavily fortified steel works in Mariupol.

On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was concerned with the soldier's trial, especially considering Russia lacked the ability to protect his interests on site. He said that this doesn't mean that we won't consider the possibility of continuing attempts to help the serviceman through other channels.

Peskov made it clear that the exchange of prisoners was constantly being carried out in one form or another. Since the Russian military attack in Ukraine, Moscow and Kiev has been accusing each other of war crimes.

Moscow has launched a number of criminal cases against members of the Ukrainian military over the alleged mistreatment of Russian POWs and the shelling of residential areas in the Donbass and Russian regions bordering Ukraine.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.