Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Lawmakers Propose Granting Prisoners Amnesty for Enlisting

Alexander Shcherbak / TASS


Russian lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow the granting of amnesties to prisoners enlisting to fight in Ukraine, according to Senator Olga Kovitidi on Thursday.

"If a convict shows courage and heroism while performing military duty … the court may release him from serving his sentence … or commute the remainder of the sentence to a milder one,” Kovitidi said in a post on Telegram.

According to Kovitidi, the measures wouldn’t apply to those convicted of such recently-legislated crimes as "discrediting" or "spreading false information about" Russia’s armed forces, or for calling for sanctions against the country. People charged for taking part in anti-government protests also would be blocked from receiving amnesties.

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, representatives of the Kremlin-linked Wagner private military contractor and Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) have been offering prisoners deployment or work on restoring and demining occupied Ukrainian territories, according to activists and media reports.

Around 10,000 Russian prisoners, including a convicted cannibal, have been recruited by Wagner, the head of prison-monitoring NGO Russia Behind Bars, Olga Romanova, said in a YouTube interview last month.

The unconventional recruitment drive appears to be an attempt by the Russian military to replenish its forces that have been heavily depleted after months of fighting in Ukraine.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more