FAST FIVE: Russia Enacts Lengthy Prison Sentences For Wartime Desertion & Refusal To Serve

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Russia Enacts Lengthy Prison Sentences For Wartime Desertion & Refusal To Serve Days after announcing a partial mobilization of national forces amid the ongoing 'special operation' in neighboring Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday enacted significant measures to prevent citizens from fleeing draft notices, as he signed into law stiff penalties for desertion.

According to The Moscow Post, some of the penalties include a harsh 15 years in prison: Under the law, “voluntary” surrender is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

But a first-time offender “may be exempted from criminal liability if he took measures for his release, returned to his unit or place of service and did not commit other crimes while in captivity,” according to the bill published on the State Duma website.  Desertion during a period of mobilization or wartime will be punished by up to 10 years in jail, while conscientious objectors will risk up to three years in prison.  Penalties are also stipulated for “looting during wartime” – after the opening months of the Ukraine invasion saw criticism from the West over reports of Russian troops rummaging through stores and residences of occupied areas.

RUSSIAN MOBILIZATION IS UNDERWAY ***pic.twitter.com/fJwFEZPbHd – The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) September 24, 2022 Last week Putin's order called up some 300,000 reservists, with some reports speculating that the actual figure could be much higher – as much as one million – according to some sources, though this remains unconfirmed.

The Baltic countries have already enacted a de facto blanket travel ban on Russian nationals, while Finland has thus far taken only temporary measures to restrict the flow of Russian travelers.

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