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Russian courts begin sentencing for desertion and AWOL during mobilization

Source: Mediazona

Russian courts have issued the first sentences based on laws about desertion and abandoning a unit without authorization during the period of mobilization and combat operations. The publication Mediazona discovered the sentencings on military courts’ websites.

On December 14, a Murmansk military court sentenced Maxim Malyshev for deserting during the mobilization period, as well as for attempting an illegal border crossing. It’s not clear what punishment Malyshev received: the court’s website didn’t publish the text of the sentence, and a judge refused to tell Mediazona the details of the decision.

On December 6, a Veliky Novgorod military court sentenced Danila Ivanov to five years probation for leaving his unit during the period of mobilization. According to his lawyer, Ivanov left his unit in the Belgorod region at the end of April, but returned in September, after mobilization was announced. The defense did not specify whether Ivanov took part in combat in Ukraine before he escaped the unit.

On December 7, a court in Solnechnogorks, near Moscow, sentenced Alexey Sozonov to four years probation for the same violation, his lawyer told Mediazona (he refused to disclose the details of the case). The text of that sentence was also not published on the court’s website.

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In September, the State Duma took urgent measures to add new clauses to criminal articles on desertion and unauthorized leave from a site of military service. The new clauses provide for tougher penalties for committing these acts during periods of mobilization or combat action.

The amendments were adopted on September 20 — one day before mobilization was announced in Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed them on September 24.

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