Support The Moscow Times!

Record Number of Russian Soldiers Convicted of Murder in 2023 – Data

Arthur Novosiltsev / Moskva News Agency

A record number of Russian soldiers were convicted of murder in 2023, the independent Mediazona news website reported Wednesday, citing Supreme Court data.

Russian courts sentenced 116 contract soldiers and conscripts for premeditated murder last year, a dramatic increase from the 13 soldiers convicted in 2022 and 21 in 2021, according to the data.

Mediazona noted that the convictions do not include cases of mishandling weapons or other military equipment.

Russian courts also handed down a record number of convictions for espionage, state treason and disclosure of state secrets since at least 2010, according to the same 2023 Supreme Court data analyzed by another independent outlet, Vyorstka.

Nine people were sentenced for espionage, 39 for treason and 73 for disclosing state secrets, according to the data.

The number of convictions has risen from previous years.

The increases came as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its third year in February 2024.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, Russia's Defense Ministry and the Wagner mercenary group recruited heavily from Russian prisons to bolster their manpower in Ukraine, promising to pardon convicts in exchange for military service.

The practice has since been gradually phased out in favor of conditional release for the duration of the war, according to media reports.

In March 2024, President Vladimir Putin signed into law the practice of allowing future suspected or convicted criminals to join the military.

… 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.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more