Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Russian Courts Treating Criminals Kremlin Pardoned to Fight in Ukraine Leniently if They Commit New Crimes on Returning Home, ‘Verstka’ Investigation Finds

Paul Goble

Staunton, Dec. 24 – Many Russians, disturbed by the fact that some of the 50,000 criminals the Russian government pardoned to get them to fight in Ukraine are committing new crimes on their return home, now have a new reason for worry: Russian courts are treating such people far more leniently than they are treating other violators of the law.

That is the conclusion the Vertska news portal has reached on the basis of an investigation into what is happened to such people after they return. The portal has examined both news reports and court cases where these are available (

It says judges are inclined to give these veterans shorter times in prison than they give non-veterans or even to give them suspended sentences. To the extent that this conclusion is true across the country, that means that the Putin regime is in effect promoting the criminalization of Russia in yet another way.

And that may come back to haunt Russia’s rulers because many people in that country are already angry about the way in which those who committed crimes earlier are now being treated as heroes by the regime. If the population sees that on their return, such individuals can literally get away with murder in this way, that will undermine support for the system.

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