Treason Against the Homeland

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Treason Against the Homeland


according to Soviet law, an especially dangerous state crime.

The legal concept of treason is given in the Law on Criminal Liability for State Crimes of Dec. 25, 1958. Treason is an act (action or inaction) deliberately committed by a citizen of the USSR that affects adversely the state independence, territorial inviolability, or military might of the USSR: such acts include going over to the enemy side, engaging in espionage, turning over a state or military secret to a foreign state, fleeing across the USSR border or refusing to return from across the border to the USSR, and assisting a foreign state in carrying out action hostile to the USSR. Also considered treason against the homeland is conspiracy for the purpose of seizing power. The law gives an exhaustive list of acts that constitute treason and emphasizes that treason can only be committed deliberately. Careless actions (for example, losing documents containing a state secret) and also deliberate acts committed without the intention of adversely affecting the state independence, territorial inviolability, or military might of the USSR (for example, divulging a state secret or illegally crossing the state border or illegally leaving the USSR) are not considered to be treason; such actions are dealt with in appropriate articles of the Criminal Code.

The punishment for treason is loss of freedom for between ten and 15 years with confiscation of property or execution with confiscation of property.


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