On September 20, at the plenary session of the State Duma, parliamentarians adopted in the second and third readings amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which propose to increase liability for crimes against military service. Increased prison terms for failure to comply with the order of the commander, desertion, looting, violation of the rules of combat duty, deliberate destruction or damage to military property during wartime, hostilities or mobilization. Their co-authors were deputies from all factions, including the heads of defense committees Andrey Kartapolovon Security and Anti-Corruption Vasily Piskarevfor international affairs Leonid Slutskyas well as senators of the Russian Federation.
“Failure by subordinates to comply with the order of the chief … during martial law, in wartime or in conditions of armed conflict or combat operations, as well as refusal to participate in military or hostilities,” the document says, “will be punished by imprisonment for up to three years. And in case of serious consequences – up to 10 years. Responsibility is also being increased for the unauthorized abandonment of a unit during the period of mobilization or martial law, in wartime or in conditions of an armed conflict or combat operations – from 5 to 10 years in prison.
It is proposed to toughen the punishment for desertion during the period of mobilization, wartime or in conditions of armed conflict up to 15 years in prison, for evading military service by feigning illness – up to 10 years. It is also proposed to increase the punishment for violations of the rules of border and guard duty, deliberate damage or destruction of military property – up to 10 years in prison. For the destruction of military property in wartime through negligence, the term of imprisonment can be up to 5 years.
Voluntary surrender (in the absence of signs of treason) will face imprisonment for a period of 3 to 10 years. At the same time, “a serviceman who has committed a crime under this article for the first time,” the document emphasizes, “may be released from criminal liability if he took measures for his release, returned to his unit or place of service and did not commit other crimes.”
For looting in wartime conditions, up to 6 years in prison threatens, and the maximum sanction, if the crime was committed with the infliction of grievous bodily harm or murder, or the damage was caused on an especially large scale, is up to 15 years. At the same time, criminal liability is introduced for disrupting the state defense order. The maximum term of imprisonment, depending on the type of crime, is from 8 to 10 years in prison.
Another bill, adopted on September 20 in the second and third readings, allows foreigners who have entered into a contract to serve in the Russian Armed Forces for a period of at least one year to obtain Russian citizenship in a simplified manner.
“The adopted amendments make it possible to obtain Russian citizenship in a simplified manner, without the need to obtain a residence permit,” he noted in a commentary for Free Press. Andrey Kartapolov, Chairman of the Duma Defense Committee, – foreign citizens who have entered into a contract for service in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops or military formations for a period of at least one year. According to the current legislation, it is necessary to serve under a military contract for at least three years.
The adopted amendments also propose to reduce from five years to one year the period for which the first military service contract is concluded with a foreign citizen who enters military service in the ranks of a soldier, sailor, sergeant and foreman.