Crimes Against the Personal Property of Citizens

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Crimes Against the Personal Property of Citizens


under Soviet criminal law, criminal acts that infringe on the citizen’s right to personal property, which is guaranteed by the Constitution of the USSR. In the criminal codes of the Union republics the articles establishing liability for these crimes are contained in a special chapter, for example, Chapter 5 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR.

The object of this group of crimes is the property of citizens or their right to property. Citizens’ property includes personal effects, securities payable on presentation, and other material valuables of monetary value. Crimes against the property of associations that are not socialist organizations (for example, churches and foreign offices) are also classified as crimes against personal property.

The characteristic feature of all the elements of crimes in this group is causing material loss to the victim and endeavoring to enrich oneself at the expense of another, for example, open and secret stealing, robbery, swindling, and extortion. The criminal codes of some Union republics recognize other crimes against personal property, such as appropriating and squandering the personal property of others (Georgian, Kazakh, and Latvian SSR’s) or concealing stray livestock (Kazakh SSR). The willful or negligent destruction of or damage to the personal property of citizens is also regarded as a crime against personal property.

A person becomes criminally liable at the age of 14 for open or secret stealing, robbery, and the willful destruction of or damage to the personal property of others with grave consequences. For all other crimes against the personal property of citizens, criminal liability ensues at the age of 16.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.