Crimes, Military

Crimes, Military

 

in the USSR, crimes against the established way of performing military service, committed by servicemen or by reservists during training. The military crimes envisioned by the 1958 Law on Criminal Liability for Military Crimes are divided into the following groups: (1) crimes against the chain of command and military honor, including insubordination, failure to carry out an order, insult of a superior by his subordinate or of a subordinate by his superior, and threatening a superior; (2) crimes against the regulations for performing military service, such as unauthorized leave, desertion, or evasion of military service by forging documents; (3) divulging military or state secrets or losing documents containing military secrets; (4) crimes committed in an official capacity; (5) crimes against the regulations for performing military service in a combat situation and in the area of military operations, for example, unauthorized departure from a unit in a combat situation, looting, and surrendering or abandoning matériel to the enemy; and (6) crimes against the conventions of war. Under the 1958 law, persons who are covered by special provisions in Soviet law (for example, the officers, sergeants, and enlisted personnel of state security agencies) are also responsible for crimes against their established service regulations. Other persons can only be accomplices to military crimes.

Military crimes must be distinguished from military disciplinary infractions. Although such infractions formally have the characteristics of military crimes, they do not contain a special social danger. Depending on the type and degree of social danger of the military crime, the law prescribes punishment in the form of deprivation of freedom or assignment to a disciplinary battalion.

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