KATERYNA TYSHCHENKO was born on Saturday, 24/09/2018.

The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation has been amended to include harsher punishments for desertion, loot and surrender.

There is a link to the Russian Federation's official legal information portal.

The law introduces the concepts of "mobilisation", "martial law" and "wartime" to the criminal code.

The Criminal Code contains several new articles.

The Voluntary surrender is one of the new ones. If there are no signs of treason, a Russian soldier can be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

If a serviceman commits a crime for the first time, he can be exempt from criminal liability if he takes measures to secure his release, return to his unit or place of service, and commit no other crimes during his captivity.

A term of imprisonment of up to 15 years has been added to the article. The law proposes to consider the commission of this crime during a period of martial law or war as an "aggravated circumstance".

During a period of martial law, the penalty for leaving without permission is more severe than during peacetime. A serviceman can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if he misses more than 10 days in a row. If a serviceman is absent for more than a month, he could be sentenced to between five and ten years in prison.

The law states that a serviceman who has committed acts in parts 1, 2, 3 or 4 of this article for the first time may be exempt from criminal liability.

Failure to comply with a superior's order issued in the established procedure during martial law, in wartime, or in conditions of armed conflict or combat operations, and the refusal to participate in military or combat operations, are punished with two to three years' imprisonment.

The penalty for such acts will be between three and ten years in prison.

Reservists will be subject to criminal prosecution for unauthorized leave from their unit or place of service, as well as for failing to report for duty on time without valid reasons during their military training.

If such an act took place during a period of martial law, and it lasted from two to ten days, there is a penalty of up to five years in prison. The penalty for being absent for ten days or more is up to seven years of imprisonment. If there is no martial law at the time, the prison term will be between 5 and 10 years.

Several articles on failure to fulfill the state defence order and violation of the terms of a state contract have been introduced.

From the date of their official publication, the amended laws take effect.

Amendments to liability for desertion during war were approved by the Russian State Duma.

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