NewsRussia sees historic rise in military convictions for murder in 2023

Russia sees historic rise in military convictions for murder in 2023

Among the Russian military convicts, many are members of the Wagner Group.
Among the Russian military convicts, many are members of the Wagner Group.
Images source: © Getty Images | 2023 Anadolu Agency

6:53 AM EDT, April 18, 2024

In 2023, Russia saw a significant increase in murder convictions among its military personnel, with 116 service members found guilty, nearly six times the number recorded before the conflict in Ukraine escalated.

According to last year's data published by the Russian Supreme Court's Department of Judiciary, these convictions set a new record, as the independent outlet Mediazona reported. A total of 98 military personnel were convicted of murder under circumstances not considered aggravated, while the remaining 18 faced harsher judgments, sometimes leading to life imprisonment, per Mediazona.

The convictions were made under Article 105 of the criminal code, specifically addressing premeditated murder, and did not include deaths caused by negligence, such as mishandling of weapons.
For context, the courts convicted 21 military personnel of murder in 2021 and only 13 in 2022. Additionally, instances of grievous bodily harm among the military surged from 50 in 2022 to 133 in 2023.
A considerable number of those convicted belong to the Wagner Group, a fact that is perhaps not shocking given the group's recruitment drive among prisoners convicted of serious crimes, offering them a way out of incarceration.
One notable case occurred in March in Moscow, where a former convict turned Wagner Group mercenary was apprehended for the gruesome murder of his partner upon returning from Ukraine. The 51-year-old, Sergei Mironov, is said to have severed his 42-year-old partner's ear before stabbing her at least 15 times, after which he contacted the police himself.
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