Russian court commutes paratrooper’s prison sentence in recognition of service in Ukraine

Yevgeny Teterin. Photo: The Civic Chamber of the Sverdlovsk region

Yevgeny Teterin. Photo: The Civic Chamber of the Sverdlovsk region

A Russian paratrooper who was found guilty of bribery has had his nine-year prison sentence commuted in view of his military service in Ukraine.

Paratrooper Yevgeny Teterin, who was also initially ordered to pay a fine of 25 million rubles (€250,000), was absolved by a court in the Russian Urals city of Yekaterinburg from both the fine and the prison sentence citing medals he received for his military service in Ukraine, local news outlet It’s My City reported on Tuesday.

Teterin was found guilty of “bribery facilitation” to the tune of 12 million rubles (€120,000) while helping a local gravel company “resolve issues” with the police, the tax authorities and the environmental supervision service before the war in Ukraine, the court’s press service said.

On 23 March Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law exempting veterans of the war in Ukraine from liability for most crimes, including murder, grievous bodily harm and rape.

Photo from the hearing released by the court.

Photo from the hearing released by the court.

Teterin’s lawyer, Dmitry Bushukhin, told local newspaper Vecherniye Vedomosti that to his knowledge Teterin’s case was the first time the new law had been applied to absolve a convicted military serviceman from punishment.

The bribery case against Teterin was opened in 2021, but the trial was paused in 2023 to allow Teterin to join up to fight in Ukraine, Russian daily Kommersant reported, adding that Teterin had served in Afghanistan in the 1980s, where he was awarded over 30 medals.

Teterin was wounded in Ukraine in December and received the rank of senior lieutenant, a medal for bravery, and a medal for “special merit”. Teterin, who is now on leave, will remain under house arrest until the court ruling enters into force, It’s My City wrote, and is due to be discharged from the military for health reasons on 20 April.

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