The Russian parliament has voted to amend the country’s criminal code, introducing “mobilization” and “martial law” as legal terms, as well as criminal punishments for desertion and surrender, Russian media outlet Meduza reported on Sept. 20.
The amendments would make voluntary surrender by Russian troops punishable with 10 years in prison, and looting – 15 years.
Additionally, military service members who abandon their units without leave during martial law would face up to 10 years in prison. Criminal responsibility is also introduced for reservists who defy mobilization summons.
Finally, refusing to follow combat orders during martial law could result in up to three years in a penal colony.
Russia’s invasion army in Ukraine has been plagued by all of the offences for which punishments have been increased.
The Kremlin has apparently decided to hold a series of sham votes in occupied areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson oblasts in the coming days, hoping to legitimize its takeover of the Ukrainian territories.