Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization follows moves Tuesday by Moscow’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, to amend the law on military service, toughening the punishment for violation of military service duties — such as desertion and evasion from service — according to state news agency TASS.
The bill sets a jail term of up to 15 years for resistance related to military service or coercion to violate an official military order, involving violence or the threat of it, during the period of mobilization or martial law.
State Duma deputies and senators have also prepared amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, proposing to introduce liability of up to five years of jail time for the destruction or negligent damage of weapons and military equipment during wartime, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
Deputies in the State Duma have introduced concepts of “mobilization,” “martial law,” “wartime,” and “armed conflict” into the Criminal Code of Russia, which will now be regarded as aggravating factors in criminal sentencing.
Though Putin’s announcement Wednesday stops short of a full large-scale draft, as some had predicted, it marks a significant movement in the conflict and provides Russia with broad powers to conscript its citizens with previous military experience.
It’s not clear how many people with this background have already been mobilized.
Some context: Analysts have said Russia’s military faces significant shortages of manpower.
In July, CNN reported that the call had gone out across Russia for more than 30,000 volunteers to join the war effort in Ukraine. The lure was big cash bonuses and no experience was necessary.