Putin increases prison sentences for soldiers who desert the army or surrender
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has signed an amendment to the country’s criminal code, increasing the lengths of prison terms for Russian soldiers who desert the army or who surrender to the enemy during a war, Yahoo News reports. Putin’s amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation were made amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Following Putin’s amendments, Article 352.1 of the Criminal Code now stipulates that a Russian soldier can be sentenced to 3-10 years imprisonment of “Voluntary Surrender” without evidence of treason, Yahoo News reports.
“A serviceman who has committed a crime under this article for the first time may be exempted from criminal liability if he took measures to secure his release, returned to his unit or place of service, and committed no other crimes during his captivity,” the amendment on surrender stipulates.
Regarding unauthorized leave or desertion during a war, Article 337 of the Criminal Code specifies that a soldier absent for 2-10 days may be sentenced to up to five years in prison (up from one year). For an absence of ten days to one month, the punishment is seven years imprisonment (previously up to three years). A soldier who is absent for over a month may be sentenced to five and ten years in a prison camp (previously up to five years).
“A serviceman who has committed acts specified in parts 1, 2, 3, or 4 of this Article for the first time may be exempted from criminal liability if such unauthorized absence from his unit or place of service, or failure to report for duty without valid reasons, were the consequence of a combination of exceptional circumstances,” the amendment on desertion states.