Фото: Desertion and unauthorized abandonment of a unit: What is the responsibility and what to do?

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Kovalev Artem

Head of criminal law practice

Expert in criminal and international law. He also specializes in crimes in the field of military activity and in the financial sector.

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Desertion and unauthorized abandonment of a unit: What is the responsibility and what to do?

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Desertion and unauthorized abandonment of a unit: What is the responsibility and what to do?

Author

Kovalev Artem

Good afternoon, I am Artem Kovalev, the head of criminal and international law practice at "Prikhodko and Partners" law firm.

Currently, many servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are contacting us with problems of voluntary desertion and desertion.

What is desertion and unauthorized abandonment of a unit?

This offense can consist of both voluntarily leaving the place of service or a military unit (SZH) and not showing up for duty on time without valid reasons in the event of dismissal from the unit, assignment or transfer, non-appearance from a business trip, vacation or medical institution.
The offense in this case is the absence of a serviceman without the permission of the relevant superior. Thus, desertion can be considered any illegal leaving of a unit or service in order to avoid military service.

Who can be criminally prosecuted for desertion?

Servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine and other military formations (for example, special forces) formed in accordance with the laws of Ukraine, the State Special Service of Transport, the State Service of Special Communications and of Information Protection of Ukraine, as well as other persons defined by law.

What is the punishment desertion in 2023?

A fairly tough draft law was registered in the Verkhovna Rada - punishment for persons accused of SZH, desertion, failure to comply with the order of the military command. This law was voted and signed by the President of Ukraine.

We are talking about Law No. 8271.

The changes that were made to articles 69 and 75 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine exclude the possibility of granting exemption from serving a sentence for a criminal offense / desertion with a probationary period.

So:

  • For arbitrarily leaving the place of service (Article 407) - 5 to 10 years of imprisonment is threatened!
  • For desertion (Article 408) - the penalty is from 2 to 12 years.

What should you do if you are accused of FIR or Desertion?

Charges of FIR and desertion can be contested with the right defense strategy. It is better to be ahead of the curve and submit legal appeals to the Ministry of Defense, the Security Intelligence Service and directly to your command. Then we will be able to better understand the situation, build a defense strategy and help you! The lawyers of "PRIKHODKO and partners" will help you in this, contact us!

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Head of criminal law practice

Expert in criminal and international law. He also specializes in crimes in the field of military activity and in the financial sector.

Contact now
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