Russian soldier gets life for war crimes

Russian soldier gets life for war crimes

Russian Vadim Shishimarin is the first soldier to be sentenced to life in prison for crimes committed during the war in Ukraine. It informed international news agencies on Monday. Shishimarin, 21, has been convicted by a court in Kiev of shooting a 62-year-old Ukrainian on February 28 in the northeastern region of Sumy. He pleaded guilty in mid-May.

Shishimarin said he shot the man on the orders of another soldier. Last week, the Russian told a court in Kiev that they encountered the Ukrainian man on his way to a Russian army base. The other soldier must have said “in a firm tone” that he should shoot, because otherwise they would be “in danger”. The judge said Shishimarin shot the victim several times in the head with an automatic rifle.

According to the prosecutor, Shishimarin did not have to follow the order because the commander was not higher in rank. The judge agreed. Ukraine has no death penalty, making life the maximum punishment Shishimarin can receive.

The trial has great symbolic significance for Ukraine, which accuses Russia of committing at least 10,000 war crimes. Ukrainian Chief Prosecutor Iryna Venediktova said last week that Ukrainian law is investigating tens of thousands of crimes committed by the Russian armed forces and that 623 suspects are in the picture.

Vadim Shishimarin in Kiev court on May 19 during the hearing.
Photo by Roman Hrytsyna / AP

IMF: Fragmentation of world economy threatens war

The war in Ukraine threatens to destroy the decades-long build-up of the global economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned of this on Monday on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which starts on Tuesday. According to the IMF, this will affect all working classes, “from high-paid professionals and middle-income earners to low-paid workers dependent on imported food.”

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, preceded by the corona pandemic, has led to reduced economic growth and rising inflation in addition to many casualties. Food and energy prices are rising worldwide. Meanwhile, there are strong movements in the financial markets and the continuing threat of climate change, writes the IMF. According to the fund, about 30 countries have imposed trade restrictions on food, energy and other important commodities since the start of the war.

Higher barriers can make it harder for developing countries to trade with richer countries and even grow economically. For larger economies, trade restrictions can cause them to spend more money on the same products, leading to higher inflation. The loss of partner countries in the field of innovation can also lead to lower productivity. The IMF estimates the economic consequences of the possible technological fragmentation of the world economy for many countries at 5 percent of gross domestic product.

By removing trade barriers as much as possible and diversifying supply chains, countries can better cope with future disturbances in the global economy, according to the IMF. The fund also advises the G20, the group of largest economies, to work on restructuring government debt. In addition, the international payment system should be modernized and climate change should be combated worldwide. The climate dossier is described as “an existential challenge that hangs everywhere”.

A broken tram in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. Photo by Alessandro Guerra / EPA

About 15,000 Russian soldiers died in Ukraine

About 15,000 Russian soldiers were killed in the first three months of the war in Ukraine. reports the British Ministry of Defense on Monday† As a result, the Russians would have already lost a comparable number of soldiers as in the nine-year war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan (1979-1989). The British number is for NRC not verifiable, but is somewhere between the demands of Ukraine and Russia.

According to the British Ministry of Defense, the high death toll among Russian soldiers is due to a mediocre battle plan, limited air presence, lack of flexibility and inability to learn from mistakes. In addition, offensive armies are known to lose about three times more people than defensive armies. As long as the number of dead Russian victims continues to rise, the British predict that the chance of blatant dissatisfaction in their own country may increase.

The law of war extended again, Polish president visits parliament

On Sunday, the Ukrainian parliament approved for the third time the extension of martial law and general mobilization. The extension is valid for a further 90 days and runs until 23 August. Polish President Andrzej Duda also addressed the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev on Sunday. He is the first European head of state to visit parliament since the Russian invasion began in late February. This is his second visit to the capital since April. It informs the news agency AP.

Duda said he fully supported Ukraine’s request to join the European Union. On Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelensky also called on EU member states to accede to his country’s request to join the EU as soon as possible. At the end of June, EU leaders will discuss Ukraine’s possible accession.

French Foreign Minister Clément Beaune was more cautious on Sunday. He said on the radio that EU accession would take “a long time”, maybe 20 years. “We have to be honest. If you say that Ukraine will become part of the EU in six months or a year or two, you are lying.”

Polish President Andrzej Duda of the Ukrainian parliament on Sunday. Photo by Presidential Press Service / Reuters

Zelensky talks to Italian Prime Minister Draghi: new EU sanctions package needed

The EU must introduce a new sixth round of sanctions against Russia. That, they say, was the most important thing Message from Ukrainian President Zelensky to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. They also discussed the need to lift the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports on Saturday.

This Sunday, members of the World Health Organization are discussing this blockade. Many agricultural products are usually exported through Ukrainian ports. As a result of the war, world supply of grain has come under pressure and prices have risen explosively. Neighboring Poland now acts as a channel for the export and import of humanitarian aid and weapons. In recent days, Ukrainian officials have publicly demanded that more EU aid be given to Poland so that the humanitarian aid that this country provides does not ultimately come at the expense of its own population or good relations between neighboring countries.

According to Zelensky, his telephone conversation with Draghi on Saturday night showed his “unconditional support” for Ukraine’s accession to the EU. The two heads of government also spoke of ‘defensive cooperation’. The Ukrainian president wrote on Twitter on Saturday night that the phone call took place on the Italian’s initiative.

The Russians are now targeting the Donbas

Following the conquest of the Azovstal factory in Mariupol and the fall of this city, Russian forces are targeting the Donbas River in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian army said troops should withstand at least a dozen attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces on Saturday. Parts of the region had been in the hands of separatists before the Russian invasion in February. Now Russian troops would try to control the rest of the Donbas.

For the time being, its own troops are holding out, according to Ukrainian officials. In a Telegram statement, the governor of Luhansk province called the Russian defense’s claim that it would control the area for complete “nonsense”.

Also read: “If the Russian offensive in the Donbas becomes a success, Pokrovsk will be dessert”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech Saturday night that the situation in the Donbas is “extremely difficult”. According to him, the Ukrainian army is holding out in the cities that are now under attack, including Shevyerodonetsk and Sloyansk. Presidential officials have said in statements that Zelensky will not agree to a ceasefire with Moscow if it means relinquishing territory, Reuters news agency said Sunday morning.

Residents of a town in the eastern region of Donbas have set up a temporary church in their shelter to hold an Orthodox Mass there. Photo by Aris Messinis / AFP

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