Russia’s State Duma (the lower house of the Parliament - translator’s note) has approved the second and third readings of a bill on introducing amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, according to which such terms as “mobilisation”, “martial law”, and “wartime” will be included in the new version of the code. The latest version of the document is published in the electronic base of the State Duma, while the session of the Duma meeting was broadcast on its official website.
According to the aforementioned document, the code will include two new articles: “On voluntary surrender into captivity” and “On looting”. Voluntary surrender into captivity will be punished with from three to ten years of imprisonment, looting of various severity will lead to prison terms of up to 15 years.
Furthermore, the line “during armed conflicts or military action” will be changed into “during the period of mobilisation or martial law, during wartime” in the list of extenuating circumstances while committing a crime.
The lawmakers also plan to introduce harsher punishments under the article “On unwarranted leaving of unit or place of service”. The punishment for failing to appear in service for a period of time from two to ten days without a valid reason will be up to five years of imprisonment (previously — up to one year). For failing to appear in service for a period from ten days to a month — up to seven years of imprisonment (previously — three years). For non-appearance in service for longer than a month — from five to ten years of imprisonment (previously — up to five). Another possible change is punishing reservists for not appearing at military drills — up to 10 years of imprisonment.
The article “On failure to comply with orders” will potentially be changed to include a paragraph stating that refusal to participate in hostilities will be punished with imprisonment from two to three years.
According to head of the Agora human rights group Pavel Chikov, the bill could potentially be approved by the State Duma, the Federation Council, and the president by the end of today, 20 September.
The law will come into force the day of its official publication.