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Ukraine did not exchange Russian soldier convicted of war crimes

Wednesday, 3 July 2024, 18:11
Ukraine did not exchange Russian soldier convicted of war crimes
Vadim Shishimarin. Photo: Maksym Polishchuk, Graty

Vadim Shishimarin, the first Russian soldier to be convicted of a war crime – the murder of a civilian in Sumy Oblast – is currently serving a prison sentence in Ukraine, despite Russia's desire to include him in a prisoner swap.

Source: Yurii Belousov, Head of the War Crimes Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office, in an interview with Ukrinform 

Details: "Yes, he is in Ukraine," Belousov said when asked whether Shishimarin is serving his term in prison.


Asked whether the Russians wanted him to be put forward for a prisoner swap, Belousov responded that the subject had been broached, but that Ukraine would not exchange Shishimarin.

A total of 17 Russian soldiers have been convicted of war crimes and are serving sentences in Ukraine.

The Office of the Prosecutor General is opposed to the exchange of Russian military personnel who are guilty of significant war crimes such as murder and rape.


Quote: "Each case is handled separately. If no Ukrainians had been there, the question would have been different, but if we recognise that Ukrainians were there, that has to be considered. This is a complex process involving the Security Service and Defence Intelligence, both of which are very much involved in the negotiations. I’m not ruling out the possibility that such exchanges could potentially occur. However, as a general rule, we do not exchange those who have committed significant crimes, as this is a principle of the Prosecutor General’s Office."


  • On 4 May 2022, the Security Service of Ukraine posted a video of Shishimarin confessing to the murder of civilians.
  • On 11 May, the Prosecutor’s Office announced that his case had been referred to court. Shishimarin was accused of violating the laws and customs of war. He pleaded guilty and expressed remorse.
  • The Solomianskyi District Court in Kyiv sentenced Shishimarin to life imprisonment for the murder of Oleksandr Shelipov, a 62-year-old Ukrainian citizen from Sumy Oblast.
  • In July 2022, a panel of judges from the Kyiv Court of Appeal reduced Shishimarin's sentence to 15 years.

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