The State Duma approved the prosecution of “volunteers” for “self-wolves”

The State Duma adopted in the first reading the draft law on the introduction of criminal liability for crimes against military service for the participants of the so-called volunteer formations. This is reported by T.

We are talking about such crimes as voluntary abandonment of service, failure to comply with orders, desertion, use of violence against a commander. The punishments for some of these articles were toughened with the start of mobilization for the war in Ukraine in September 2022.

As a rule, by the participants of volunteer formations, the Russian authorities do not mean regional volunteer battalions, but mercenaries from private military companies (“Wagner”, “Redut” and others), the existence of which is not officially recognized by the Russian authorities, Sibir.Realii notes.

In March 2023, the State Duma adopted a law prohibiting the “discrediting” of participants in “volunteer formations” taking part in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The amendments were adopted after the statement of the now-deceased founder of PMC “Wagner” Evgeny Prigozhin, who indicated that “Wagner” mercenaries from among former prisoners are called “thieves and criminals”. In the reports of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, units of the PMC were called “volunteer ault squads”.

  • By November 21, Russian courts had received 4,121 criminal cases about the involuntary abandonment of a unit after the start of mobilization, Mediazona calculated. In August, garrison courts handed down 457 sentences in such cases — that’s about 100 sentences per week.

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