A bill has been registered in the Verkhovna Rada, which proposes to increase the punishment for military personnel who arbitrarily left a military unit. The relevant bill is posted on the website of the Parliament.
The authors of the bill propose to establish non-alternative mechanisms of punishment and, in general, to amend articles 69 and 75 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the exclusion of the possibility of imposing a milder sentence than provided for by law, and release from serving a sentence with probation for unauthorized abandonment of a military unit.
In particular, it is proposed that the courts should not be able to mitigate the punishment of those convicted of criminal offenses provided for by:
- Article 402 – disobedience, that is, an open refusal to comply with the order of the superior, as well as other willful non-compliance order.
- Section 403 – failure to comply with superior's order.
- Section 405 –threat or violence against a superior.
- Section 407 – unauthorized leaving a military unit or place of service.
- Section 408 – desertion .
- Article 429 – unauthorized leaving the battlefield or refusing to use weapons.
The authors are convinced that the leniency of punishment of the judicial system models negative behavior among military personnel and eliminates the principle of the inevitability of just punishment.
Moreover, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny and Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov personally appealed to the Speaker of the Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk and the Chairman of the Rada Committee on Law Enforcement Serhiy Ionushas to urgently register and submit to the Verkhovna Rada a bill that would be prohibited from imposing lighter punishments on courts. than provided by law.
In turn, human rights activist, co-founder and coordinator of the Media Initiative for Human Rights (MIHR) Olga Reshetilova draws attention to the fact that in this way the command of the troops wants to shift responsibility from itself to those who are on the front lines.< /p>
«This is an attempt to shift responsibility from the high command to the lower officers and enlisted personnel. We urge the President to veto this bill and not create unnecessary tension in the army. If it is signed, I promise that I will do everything so that this boomerang returns to those who bear real responsibility», — she noted.
In the comments under the post of the human rights activist, the head of the faction «Servant of the people» David Arakhamia said that the head of the General Staff Shaptala came to report personally, at the headquarters it was Zaluzhny's request, despite the fact that many deputies wanted to vote only the first reading, the military insisted on critical deadlines and the difficult situation near Bakhmut, so the decision was adopted as a whole by agreement of all factions. We agreed to monitor all such cases and if there are abuses, change the law again».
To which Reshetilova replied: «So they decided to solve the difficult situation near Bakhmut by criminal prosecution of servicemen? Maybe let's start with the criminal responsibility of the command, which is simply unable to establish interaction between units?»
Akharamiya added in response that «whole units leave areas (of the front), then they pay a fine of 40 thousand UAH and return boasting, and someone pays for it with their lives. Such is the justification of the military. I say again, we will follow all the cases and see what the judicial practice will be».
The human rights activist added: «We are ready to prepare for you a selection of cases and situations that we are already accompanying. If these cases go to court and we provide all the evidence, society will go a little nuts. Who needs it now? Do you want social explosions? So that half of the Lviv region, where almost every fourth family has losses, would be carried out by the General Staff together with Bankova? Or native 57 (brigades), whom we are already barely holding back from protests? This is a very hasty decision that will have very dire consequences.
Arakhamiya didn't answer her anymore.
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