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under Soviet criminal law, the intentional lowering of a person’s honor and dignity, expressed in unseemly form. The insult may be given orally, in writing, by gestures, or by actions, and it may be given either publicly, in the presence of the victim, or not in his presence (in which case the insult is recognized as a crime only if the accused wanted his insulting statements to become known to the victim or knowingly permitted them to become known). Insult is punishable by corrective labor for a term not exceeding six months, by a fine of up to 50 rubles, by compelling the guilty person to rectify the harm done, or by public censure. If the act was of a minor nature, measures of social pressure may be applied, including turning the case over to a comrades’ court. Greater liability has been established for an insult in print or an insult committed by a person previously found guilty of insult (if the record of conviction has not been canceled). A criminal case involving insult is initiated only on the complaint of the victim (private accusation) and may be terminated if the parties make peace before the court retires to render judgment.
Soviet criminal law provides for increased liability for insulting a representative of the government or a representative of the public who is fulfilling duties for the protection of public order, a militiaman, or a people’s guard (for example, arts. 192 and 1921 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR).