A Ukrainian court sentenced a Russian pilot to 12 years in prison for bombing a TV tower

Alexei Loboda was sentenced to 12 years in prison and a fine in Ukraine

A ukrainian court sentenced this Saturday to 12 years in prison and the payment of a penalty fee of over 1.1 million hryvnias -about 28,200 euros- still russian pilot that, in March 2022, bombed a TV tower in Kharkiv. Is about Alexei Loboda who, at the beginning of the war, received the order to destroy civilian objects -something that is considered a war crime– in the region.

With his Su-34 combat plane, the officer attacked different targets, including a television and radio repeat stationthat is, an establishment not used for military purposes.

After deliberating in the trial, the Court authorities defined that he had acted with full consciousness of the crime he committed. “The convict was aware of the illegality of the combat order but did not refuse to comply with it and bombarded the RTPS headquarters in Kharkiv with eight FAB-500 bombs, with the equivalent of 2,400 kilograms”the prosecutors detailed.

This bombardment damaged the structure to the point that it was disabled to continue transmitting.

Moscow ordered attacks on radio and television towers repeatedly during this year of conflict
Moscow ordered attacks on radio and television towers on repeated occasions during this year of conflict (CARLOS BARRIA /)

After the attack, the plane was shot down and completely destroyed, although the pilot managed to activate the ejection system and fled. Hours later he was captured by kyiv troops and detained.

Loboda is second-in-command of the 6th Army of the Russian Air Defense and Air Forces of the Western Military District of the Russian Armed Forces.

Along with this, Moscow has carried out other such attacks in the past year of conflict. That same month, local authorities reported at least two other Russian bombing attacks on television towersone in kyiv and another in the city of Rivne, in the west of the country.

The first left at least five dead and another five wounded while, in the second, they were nine in each case.

According to the Kremlin, the measure sought to silence Ukrainian information and propaganda centers, which it accused of spreading false information. “We warn Ukrainian citizens, used by Ukrainian nationalists to carry out provocations against Russiaas well as the residents of Kiev who live near the relay nodes, to leave their homes ”, the Russian Ministry of Defense had warned moments before the noise and impacts of the projectiles were heard.

The sentence was announced on the same day as the Ukrainian prosecutor andriy kostin announced the creation of a Dialogue Group whose objective is coordinate national and international community efforts to prosecute crimes committed since February 2022.

The decision was made within the framework of the international conference taking place in Lviv, where officials such as the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders; Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan; and the president of the European Justice agency Eurojust, ladislav khamran; They debate the most suitable mechanisms to hold Russia accountable for the invasion.

Andriy Kostin announced the creation of a Dialogue Group to get Russia to pay the bills for its crimes (REUTERS)
Andriy Kostin announced the creation of a Dialogue Group to get Russia to pay the bills for its crimes (REUTERS) (STRINGER /)

“There can be no peace without justice and accountability. We cannot and will not forget the horrors experienced in Izium, Bucha, Irpin, Kharkov, Kherson, Mariupol and other cities,” Kostin said.

(With information from Europa Press and EFE)

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