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The penalties for crimes against military service are sabotage, abandonment of the unit, desertion. Clarifications of the Supreme Court of Russia in March 2023

Date: June 4, 2023 Time: 00:17:55

The Supreme Court clarified for the first time the ins and outs of considering war crimes in a special period

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The Plenary of the Supreme Court (TS) has made recommendations on how to deal with certain crimes against military service. As KP ​​was informed in the press service of the Supreme Court, the draft resolution “On the practice of consideration by courts of criminal cases on offenses against military service” has been sent for review, the judges will consider it at the Next meeting. . However, the TASS agency published some provisions from which it can be understood that the punishment for military crimes during mobilization and hostilities will be stricter. There are 123 points in the draft resolution, we will mention only a few.


The Supreme Court will distribute recommendations on war crimes for the first time. Just because for many decades there were no partial mobilizations or a large-scale special operation. In September last year, a law was passed according to which the same crimes in wartime are punished much more severely. For example, the unauthorized departure of a unit for a period of two to ten days in peacetime gives 1 year in prison and in wartime, up to five years. Damage or destruction of military equipment previously threatened with up to two years in prison, now – up to five years.

In the draft resolution, the Supreme Court recalls that crimes against military service during the period of mobilization or hostilities must be punished more severely, even though the articles of the Penal Code do not mention the aggravating nature of such offenses during a special period . Hazing, insulting a military man, violation of the rules for handling weapons – when considering such cases, “the courts should discuss the question of taking into account, when assessing the degree of danger of such crimes, circumstances that aggravate the punishment provided for by paragraph “l” of Part 1 of Article 63 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Committing a crime in a special period”) (hereinafter quoted by the TASS agency).


The draft resolution contains recommendations on how to assess the execution of an illegal order. “If a subordinate executes an order from a superior ordering him to commit criminally punishable actions known to him, the subordinate is subject to criminal liability.” At the same time, the actions of the commander must be considered as incitement to commit a crime or organization of a crime.

However, the subordinate may not realize that he is following a criminal order. In this case, he is not subject to criminal liability. “And the commander who gave such an order must be held accountable as the perpetrator of the crime.”

The Supreme Court makes an important caveat: “The courts must bear in mind that if military personnel, in the performance of military service functions that imply the use of physical force, special means, weapons, military and special equipment, acted in In accordance with the requirements of the laws, letters, regulations and other regulatory legal acts that establish the bases and the procedure for its application, they are not subject in these cases to criminal responsibility for the damages caused by them.


Failure to comply with the order, as apparent from the court order, may be different. You can refer to the article not only with an open refusal to obey – “a person who accepts the boss’s order for the execution of him, but actually consciously does not execute it, is also responsible.” Even if the order is not executed “due to forgetfulness, insufficient or inaccurate understanding of the content of the order, neglect of the time, place and manner of compliance with the order”, this does not exempt from sanction.

However, here too, the courts must assess the damage caused. The serious consequences, as explained by the plenary, “are expressed, in particular, in a decrease in the combat readiness of a military unit, the failure to carry out a combat mission, the loss of military command and the disabling of infrastructure facilities.” criticism”. At the same time, the damage to the interests “should be understood, in particular, the impairment of the authority of the commander, the interruption of the performance of combat training tasks, the violation of the constitutional rights and freedoms of the person, the damage to the property”.


The Supreme Court also clarified the provisions of the law relating to desertion. Even if the soldier who left the unit suddenly appeared on the scene, but he will not do his duty… if he was detained by the police and did not report that he was a military man… if he notified the commander where he was, but did not continue his orders … All these circumstances “do not affect the interruption of the period of unauthorized abandonment of the unit.”

As the Supreme Court clarifies, liability for desertion occurs when there is an intention to evade duty: “The intention to desert can be proven through the acquisition or exhibition by a person of false documents that prove their identity or that indicate that they have complied with the legal period of military service. service or have deferral of compulsory military service, employment, concealment of the fact of your military service while in detention by law enforcement agency, and the like.


Judges must also consider the destruction or damage to property during the period of hostilities on the basis of the damage caused. “The courts,” the draft resolution says, “should take into account that when determining the severity of the consequences, not only the amount of material damage is important, but also the uniqueness of the destroyed or damaged military equipment, its importance for ensuring the combat capacity of the unit, the loss of technical priority, etc.”.


The decision of the plenary session of the Supreme Court is not only to tighten the nuts. For example, it is proposed to distinguish between a crime and serious disciplinary offenses. “Courts must take into account that crimes are characterized by socially dangerous consequences (for example, causing significant damage to the interests of the service or the interests of state security).” If there are no consequences, then it is still a misdemeanor. For example, “the breach of the order, although it caused damage to the interests of the service, but it is not significant.” In such cases, “the court must pronounce a sentence of innocence for the non-existence of corpus delicti. But the accused may be subject to disciplinary responsibility in accordance with the established procedure.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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