A senior lieutenant of Russia's tank brigade who shot and killed two civilians near Kyiv Oblast's village of Mriia in 2022 was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia on Jan. 12, the Prosecutor General's Office reported.
Ukrainian investigators have continuously sought to identify and prosecute Russian soldiers who committed war crimes, whether or not they are physically located in Ukraine.
The Russian lieutenant was found guilty of violating the laws and customs of war combined with intentional murder.
According to the investigation, five Russian soldiers in a car with the letter "V," one of Russia's war symbols, and the inscription "tank special forces RUS" arrived at an enterprise near Mriia, just 10 kilometers west of Kyiv, in March 2022.
Two unarmed male civilians — the owner and a guard of the enterprise — approached the soldiers who at first let them go, "having ensured that these people did not pose any threat to them," the Prosecutor General's Office wrote.
As soon as the civilians moved a few meters away, the convict and an unidentified Russian serviceman opened fire on their back from an automatic weapon, as proved by the prosecutors. "The men died from at least 12 gunshot wounds."
After the killing, the Russian soldiers reportedly broke into the enterprise's territory and stole valuables.
The crime was recorded by the company's video surveillance cameras.
Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine has been accompanied by numerous war crimes and atrocities, with Ukrainian prosecutors recording more than 110,000 war crime cases to date.
A Russian soldier who kidnapped a 15-year-old Ukrainian boy near Chernihiv in March 2022 was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Dec. 7.
Earlier the same month, a Ukrainian court sentenced to 15 years in prison a Russian soldier who shot at a civilian car with a married couple inside driving to the embattled city of Bakhmut to evacuate elderly relatives.