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Two captured Russian soldiers have each been sentenced to 11.5 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to shelling a town in eastern Ukraine during the war, a report says.
Alexander Bobikin and Alexander Ivanov were told their punishment while standing inside a glass box at a district court in central Ukraine, according to Reuters.
“The guilt of Bobikin and Ivanov has been proven in full,” Judge Evhen Bolybok reportedly said.
The decision comes after a 21-year-old Russian soldier was handed a life sentence for shooting a 62-year-old man in the head in the early days of the war.
Bobikin and Ivanov 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.
Their defense lawyer had asked 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.
Both soldiers were captured after they crossed the border in Ukraine and continued shelling, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said.