Sunday, August 20, 2023

One Third of Russians Arrested for Diversionary Actions on Railroads Under 18, Government Figures Show

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 16 – One in every three Russians detained by police for carrying out actions against railroads that police define as diversionary are under the age of 18, and court statistics show that they are members of an age group somewhat more likely to be convicted than their elders and confined to prisons or camps.

            Young Russians behind bars seldom get much attention, but the Cherta news agency has investigated and found that the more than 14,000 Russians under the age of 18 now confined are increasingly there because of political actions connected with the war in Ukraine (

            While Russian law specifies that young prisoners are to be kept separate from adults and treated more leniently, the situation in many prisons and camps falls far short of the legal norms: young people are confined with adult criminals because of a shortage of space, and they are often treated far less humanely than the law requires, Cherta says.

            But what is especially unfortunate, the investigators say, is that little thought is given to the rehabilitation of young prisoners or their re-adaption to life after being released. As a result, recidivism is rife; and many of today’s young prisoners become adult criminals because they cannot find an alternative way to live.

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