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Russian Proxy Court Jails 2 Ukrainian Soldiers

Russian Investigative Committee

A Russian-installed court in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region jailed two Ukrainian soldiers for 29 years each, Russia's Investigative Committee said Wednesday, after it accused them of killing three civilians.

Moscow has repeatedly sentenced captured Ukrainian soldiers to long jail terms, in court proceedings that Kyiv does not recognize on Russian-occupied territory.

Russia's Investigative Committee named the two soldiers as "Ivan Bochkarev" and "Dmitry Kanuper," and said they belonged to Ukraine's Azov regiment — a branch of the Ukrainian army considered "extremist" in Russia.

It said that the two "shot at a car with two unarmed civilians using automatic firearms, as a result of which the men in the car died on the spot from their injuries."

The men then "shot at two other unarmed civilians" on the street, killing one while the other managed to escape, the committee said.

Both soldiers fought in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which was captured by Russian forces last May after a devastating, three-month-long siege that left the city in ruins.

Separately, the committee said earlier that another Azov soldier was sentenced in absentia to 24 years in prison for "shelling a humanitarian aid distribution point."

Russia now claims Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region as its own, along with the regions of Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, which it claimed to annex after a formal ceremony last September.

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