Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, made amendments to the law on military service on Tuesday, toughening the punishment for violation of military service duties — such as desertion and evasion from service — according to state news agency TASS.
The bill sets a jail term of up to 15 years for resistance related to military service or coercion to violate an official military order, involving violence or the threat of its use, during the period of mobilization or martial law.
Separately, State Duma deputies and senators have prepared amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, proposing to introduce liability of up to five years of jail time for the destruction or negligent damage of weapons and military equipment during wartime, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
The deputies have also introduced concepts of "mobilization," "martial law," "wartime," and "armed conflict" into the Criminal Code of Russia, which will now be regarded as aggravating factors in criminal sentencing.
Remember: Politicians and political commentators in Russia have started debating mobilization, even as the Kremlin denied any discussions about a nationwide mobilization of troops. It could mean extending conscription for soldiers currently in the armed forces, calling on reservists or bringing in men of fighting age who have had military training.
The measures in the State Duma came before the referendum announcements in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine on Tuesday.