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New amendments may allow more people under investigation and convicts to be brought to the SVO

The State Duma Committee on State Construction and Legislation on Monday recommended for adoption in the second reading a bill regulating the participation of those under investigation and convicted in a special military operation (SVO). The discussion flared up around a list of crimes for which guilt cannot be “washed away with blood.” The opposition proposed expanding it, but the head of the committee, Pavel Krasheninnikov, said that the list of “forbidden” compounds, on the contrary, could be narrowed. The Duma may consider the draft in the second reading as early as Tuesday.

A bill establishing in the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code a mechanism for exempting persons who have entered into a contract for military service during the military service period from criminal liability was introduced into the Duma on March 6 by the chairmen of the State Duma and Federation Council committees on state construction Pavel Krasheninnikov (United Russia) ) and Andrei Klishas, ​​as well as the head of the Duma Defense Committee Andrei Kartapolov (ER). Previously, this procedure was described in the law “On the Peculiarities of the Criminal Liability of Persons Invited to Participate in SVO,” approved in the summer of 2023. Now the Duma plans to recognize this document as no longer in force, and its norms will be codified.

Let us remind you that the bill makes it possible to “wash away guilt with blood” for persons suspected and accused of crimes of minor and medium gravity, with the exception of a number of offenses. This list includes crimes related to extremism, terrorism, espionage, threat of disclosure of state secrets, illegal handling of nuclear materials, as well as crimes against the sexual integrity of minors. But the lists of ingredients for those under investigation and those against whom a sentence was passed are different. For example, the “prohibited” list for convicted persons does not include cash smuggling on a large scale or committed by a group of persons, calls for violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, as well as a number of norms related to the disclosure of state secrets.

After concluding a contract with the Ministry of Defense, the cases of the suspects will be suspended, and the real punishment of the convicted will be replaced with a suspended sentence. Complete release from responsibility or from serving a sentence with expungement of a criminal record will occur only in the event of a state award or dismissal from military service due to age, health, or due to the end of wartime.

On March 12, the bill was adopted in the first reading, and even then a discussion broke out about the list of crimes for which those accused and suspected would not be able to escape punishment when concluding a military contract. Deputies introduced appropriate amendments, which the committee considered on March 18.

Alexey Kurinny (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) proposed including in the list the entire articles 131 (rape), 132 (violent acts of a sexual nature) and 134 (sexual intercourse or other acts of a sexual nature with a person under 16 years of age). “Rape committed with extreme cruelty is not included in the list of offenses. Anyone who caused serious harm to health when the victim became disabled can also actually be forgiven today. Moreover, part four assumes the death of the victim due to negligence. And even these persons who raped and actually killed the victim can go to atone for their crime with blood. In my opinion, these people cannot be forgiven due to their exploits or medals,” Mr. Kurinny explained his point of view.

Similar amendments were made by Sardana Avksentyeva (“New People”). She also proposed adding Article 111 of the Criminal Code (intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm) to the list.

However, the committee recommended that the Duma reject these amendments. As Pavel Krasheninnikov explained, the Ministry of Defense will not conclude contracts with everyone, but only with persons who meet certain criteria: age, state of health, presence of a military specialty. “We believe that there is no need to increase the number of articles and, accordingly, reduce the number of persons who can be called up. Moreover, discussions continue, on the contrary, about the possibility of involving more people who are on trial or under investigation into the SVO.” United Russia reported that after the committee meeting, meetings are planned with the presidential administration and the State Duma Defense Committee, after which amendments narrowing the “prohibited” list can be considered through a questionnaire. Moreover, they need to be considered by the beginning of the plenary session on March 19, at which the Duma plans to consider the bill. “Those who are sent to the front from places of deprivation do not go to a resort, they go to assault units. And believe me, in order to return from there, there must be another chance,” supported his colleague Dmitry Vyatkin (ER).

Pavel Krasheninnikov explained to Kommersant the concept of the new amendments to the second reading as follows: “Now the list is different for those who are under trial and investigation, and those against whom a sentence has been passed. Most likely, there will be a single list, and the circle of persons under investigation who will be able to enter into a contract with the Ministry of Defense will expand slightly.”

Ksenia Veretennikova

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