The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has drawn up a draft resolution “On the practice of court consideration of criminal cases relating to crimes against military service”, based on the judicial practice of 2010-2022. Document submitted at a plenary meeting of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on March 21.
In the draft resolution, the court explained the specifics of qualified crimes against military service. The project has not yet been published, excerpts from it have been submitted CASS And RAPSI. It is expected that in the final document contribute changes.
Unauthorized abandonment of part or place of service (Article 337 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation)
It appears from the Supreme Court’s draft resolution that “responsibility is introduced for an attempt to arbitrarily leave a unit and desertion”, declared the head of the “Agora” Pavel Chikov.
The decision says that Russian courts, when qualifying the severity of liability under Article 337 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, must take into account the period during which the army was going to be absent. He will be held responsible for attempting to abandon the unit, “even if he was detained before the expiry of this period of absence”, estimate TASS decision.
“At the same time, the actual duration of the unauthorized absence does not matter for the qualification of his actions and may be less than that established in the relevant parts of this article, for example, for military personnel subject to military service under conscription, be inferior for more than two days,” the document states.
Pavel Chikov explained that now a criminal case under this article can be initiated “and in cases where a serviceman is absent from the unit for less than two days.” “As a rule, they are held liable under Article 337 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation if they are absent from the unit or duty station for more than two days,” the chief said. of the Agora.
According to amendments made in 2022, the maximum penalty for the unauthorized abandonment of a unit during the period of mobilization or martial law, in time of war or under conditions of armed conflict or hostilities, is ten years from prison.
Desertion (Article 338 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation)
In the draft resolution saidthat, unlike unauthorized abandonment of the unit, when a soldier has temporarily withdrawn from service, liability for desertion arises if a person intends to completely withdraw from the obligations of military service.
The document notes that desertion as a crime is considered accomplished when the age limit for military service is reached or the end of the mobilization period for those mobilized. As pointed out by Chikov, the army will be liable for desertion within 15 years of reaching the age limit for being in the reserve (for example, for ordinary soldiers, the age limit is 50 years).
Servicemen who for the first time arbitrarily left a unit or deserted may be exonerated from criminal liability “due to a combination of difficult circumstances”, said in the text of the document. In the event of desertion, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation referred to circumstances such as the serious state of health of a close relative, to whom the military must urgently go, or hazing that threatens the health or military life.
For desertion committed during the period of mobilization or martial law, threat of up to fifteen years in prison.
Voluntary surrender (Article 352.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation)
Supreme Court clarifiedthat Russian courts, when considering cases of surrender, must take into account the provisions of the Charter of the Internal Service of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. He suggests that a soldier in hostilities, even in complete encirclement, “should put up resolute resistance to the enemy, avoiding capture; in battle, he is obliged to fulfill his military duty with honour,” the draft resolution reads.
Such an interpretation, as Pavel Chikov points out, implies that with respect to any captured soldier, “at least procedural control will be carried out in accordance with Articles 144-145 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation.”
A serviceman who has committed such a crime for the first time may be exonerated from criminal liability if he has fulfilled all of the following conditions, taken steps for his release, returned to the unit or place of duty and has not committed other crimes during his captivity.
Voluntary surrender is punishable by three to ten years in prison.