Court sentences Russian pilot to 12 years in prison for dropping bombs on Kharkiv TV tower

3 March, 12:10 PM
Consequences of the bombing of the TV tower in Kharkiv by russian pilot (Photo:Office of the Prosecutor General/Telegram)

Consequences of the bombing of the TV tower in Kharkiv by russian pilot (Photo:Office of the Prosecutor General/Telegram)

A Ukrainian court has sentenced the Russian pilot who bombed the TV tower in Kharkiv to 12 years behind bars, Ukraine’s SBU security service reported on Telegram on March 3.

The SBU said the convict was the deputy commander of a military unit of the 6th Army of the Air and Air Defense Forces of Russia’s Western Military District.

He crossed the state border of Ukraine in a Russian Su-34 combat aircraft and bombed a radio and television station in Kharkiv on March 6, 2022.

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The investigation found that the pilot used eight FAB-500 aircraft bombs with a total weight of 2.5 tons of TNT equivalent to conduct the air attack.

The pilot was shot down by the Ukrainian military immediately after he dropped the bombs. He was detained after ejecting and landing.

The court found him guilty under Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (violation of the laws and customs of war).

The Prosecutor General's Office added that the court also satisfied the civil claims of the victims — three organizations — worth a total of more than UAH 1.1 million ($29,741).

Prosecutors proved that the Russian pilot had received a combat order to destroy a civilian object and did not refuse to execute it, knowing that it was a criminal act.

The agency noted that the Kharkiv radio and television station and the equipment located on it are a civilian facility that is not used for military purposes. The activities of the Kharkiv broadcaster are directly related exclusively to the provision of services that are important for the functioning of society and the safety of the civilian population.

The station provides telecommunication services, a warning system, and broadcasts television and radio programs.

As a result of the bombing, the TV tower sustained damage to its metal structure, which significantly reduced its load-bearing capacity and made further safe operation impossible.

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