Saturday, September 2, 2023

Since Ukraine Invasion Began, Russian Courts Letting Soldiers Guilty of Corruption and Theft Off Easy but Imposing Real Sentences on Those who Desert or Refuse to Obey Orders, New Study Finds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 31 – Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russian courts have considered hundreds of criminal cases involving corruption and property crimes. Most were dismissed, and almost none resulted in prison sentences. But the same courts regularly imposed often draconian sentences on those who deserted or refuse to fight.

            That is the conclusion of a new study of several thousand cases by The New Tab and A Continuation Follows ( and; and while it is perhaps not surprising, it helps to explain why corruption and theft in the Russian army remains widespread even as other forms of command and control have tightened.

            And in particular, it helps to explain why the Russian armed forces in Ukraine are guilty of so much theft. Russian soldiers and their commanders know that from the point of view of the powers that be in Russia, such “crimes” are not that serious and won’t be punished severely if they are even identified by commanders as such.

            Until this changes, the Russian forces in Ukraine will resemble a gang of marauders more than a serious military; and Ukrainians will be the victims of such illegal actions.

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