Voluntary abandonment of a military unit in martial law

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Voluntary abandonment of a military unit in martial law

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine, men of mobilization age voluntarily or by summons joined the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations. However, not everyone who is at “zero” was able to cope with such factors as difficult physical and moral conditions, strict discipline. That is why such military personnel sometimes choose the path of SZCH. Let’s consider this term in more detail. SZH is the voluntary abandonment of a military unit. In this article, the specialists of our law office Prykhodko and Partners will remind you about responsibility, punishment and the algorithm of actions in case of SZH.


Is there a difference between desertion and NWW?

There are such situations when, being in a difficult situation, a soldier could not return from treatment and arrive at the military unit in a timely manner. And this is just one example. That is why each case requires separate consideration. To begin with, let’s define the difference between desertion and SZH. Although these two terms are related, they are not the same.

Punishment for desertion within the framework of the current legal framework occurs in accordance with Article 408 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. This crime involves:

  • Change of place of service, which was not agreed with the management.
  • Non-appearance of a military man at his place of duty.
  • Failure to return to service.

The main feature that distinguishes these two concepts is the unlimited term. That is, the purpose of the military is to completely avoid military duties.

As for the SZH, it is also leaving the place of service or a military unit without agreement with the leadership. However, unlike desertion, FRL is treated as a temporary violation. Of course, in some cases, SZH can qualify as desertion. Everything depends on the period of military absence.

What actions do not fall under the category of SZH?

There are cases when leaving a place of service or a military unit is not considered a crime. The following are not covered by SZH: rotation, official business trip/vacation, training, being on medical treatment, the need to comply with the commander’s order. In order to confirm the legalization of his absence, the military man must provide relevant certificates and permits.


Punishment for SZH: are there any changes during martial law?

A crime committed during martial law carries the following punishment: imprisonment for a term of 5 to 10 years (Article 407 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). Individual cases are, for example, evasion of military duties by harming oneself and faking illnesses. The term of punishment is also up to 10 years.

Algorithm of actions in the case of accusation of SZH

If you have been charged with criminal mischief, the first step you need to take is to enlist the help of professional lawyers. Lawyers Prykhodko and Partners have practical experience in working with similar cases. The first thing we will start with is the collection of the evidence base, which can be used in the future to justify the client. Quite often cases of this category are initiated illegally or erroneously. Our lawyers will be able to prove the facts that will convince the court of the absence of a crime or significantly mitigate the responsibility under Article 407 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

We can say the following from experience: professional and active advocacy work is a prerequisite for obtaining the desired result.

Do you still have questions? We are waiting for a preliminary consultation! Fill out the form below to calculate the cost of a lawyer’s services in SZH cases.

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1 question

Did you leave your military unit without permission?


2 question

Do you know that you are accused of leaving a military unit without permission?


3 question

Did you leave your military unit more than a month ago?


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