Crimes Against Property
Crimes Against Property
under Soviet law, actions that infringe upon socialist ownership or personal ownership by citizens. The criminal codes of the Union republics establish separate responsibility for crimes against socialist ownership (for example, the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, Chapter 2) and against personal ownership by citizens (for example, the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, Chapter 5).
Infringement upon socialist property may be divided into four groups. (1) The stealing of state or social property, committed by Krazha (secret stealing), by grabezh (open stealing), by razboi (assault with intent to rob), by appropriation, embezzlement, or abuse of official position, and by swindling (arts. 89–93, 93’, 96 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR). (2) Causing property damage to the state or to a public organization through deception or abuse of trust, through extortion of state or social property, or by the appropriation of valuable property known to belong to the state or to a public organization, which has been found by or accidentally come into the possession of the guilty person (arts. 94, 95,97 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR). In the criminal code’s of the Ukrainian and Kirghiz SSR’s responsibility for extortion is not specifically provided for. (3) The intentional or negligent destruction or damaging of state or social property (arts. 98,99 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR), as well as the criminally negligent use or maintenance of agricultural equipment—tractors, automobiles, combines, and other agricultural machinery—resulting in damage or breakage or the dismantling of such machinery (art. 991 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR). In addition, the Criminal Code of the Kazakh SSR establishes responsibility for criminally negligent and brutal treatment of farm animals (art. 86). (4) An unconscientious attitude toward the protection of state or social property, resulting in the large-scale stealing, damaging, or destroying of such property (art. 100 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR). The Criminal Code of the Kazakh SSR specifically provides for responsibility for the illegal felling or damaging of timber (art. 83) and for intentional damage caused to crops or forest plantings by grazing cattle (art. 84).
Infringements upon personal ownership are divided into (1) taking possession of citizens’ property by krazha, grabezh, razboi, swindling, or extortion (arts. 144–48 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR) and (2) intentional or negligent destroying or damaging of citizens’ personal property (arts. 149,150 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR). The criminal codes of the Kazakh and Georgian SSR’s provide for responsibility for usury and the criminal codes of the Uzbek and Kirghiz SSR’s, for concealing valuable personal property of citizens, which has been found by or has accidentally come into the possession of the guilty person. In the Criminal Code of the Tadzhik SSR the concealing of found property or stray cattle is punishable by law.
Infringements upon the state or social property of other socialist countries found on the territory of the USSR are punishable in the same manner as crimes against socialist property (art. 101 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR), and infringements upon the property of associations that are not socialist organizations (for example, churches) are punishable in the same manner as crimes against the personal ownership of citizens (art. 151 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR). When certain property has been transferred by the state for use by an association that is not a socialist organization, the theft of such property is considered an infringement upon socialist property.
S. S. STENICHEV