Murder (Russian law)

Murder (Russian law)

According to the modern Russian Criminal Code, only intentional killing of another human considered as a murder (Russian убийство). The following types of murder are defined:

  • Murder per se (article 105 of Criminal Code):
    • common corpus delicti (with no aggravating circumstances listed below). Punished with a sentence between 6 and 15 years
    • qualified corpus delicti. Punished with a sentence between 8 and 20 years, or life, or death penalty. Aggravating circumstances:
a) against two or more persons;
b) against person on public duty or their relatives;
c) killing of hostage, kidnapped or helpless person;
d) killing of pregnant;
e) committed in a cruel way;
f) committed in a socially dangerous way;
g) motivated by a blood feud (vendetta);
h) committed by a group;
i) for a profit, including contract killing, or connected with a robbery, extort or gangsterism;
j) with a rowdy motive;
k) to cover or secure another crime,
l) connected with a rape or sexual assault;
m) hate crime;
n) with the view to use organs or tissues of victim.
  • Privileged types of murder:
    • Of newborn child by mother (article 106 of Criminal Code), punished with a sentence up to 5 years.
    • In affect state (art. 107), up to 3 years (up to 5 years for multiple killing).
    • Exceeding reasonable level of self defense (art. 108), up to 2 years.

There are some other articles of criminal code, that provide special punishment for crimes connected with intentional kills:

  • seizure of hostages;
  • terrorism;
  • sabotage;

- punished with a sentence between 15 and 20 years, or life.

  • genocide;
  • encroachment on person on public or government duty;
  • encroachment on law officer or soldier;
  • encroachment on person administering justice or engaged in a preliminary investigation.

- punished with a sentence between 12 and 20 years, or life, or death penalty.

Separately considered actions that cause unpremeditated death of another person:

  • accident killing (art. 108, punished with a limitation of freedom or imprisonment up to 5 years - depends on circumstances);
  • death in a traffic accident (art. 263-264, punished with an imprisonment up to 9 years if aggravating circumstances such as alcohol or drugs intoxication or multiply victims exist, also provided disqualification from driving)

Assault that has no purpose to kill, but causes a death of victim, formally is not considered as a murder, but punishment for it almost not distinguished from common murder (art. 111 part 4 provides punishment with a sentence between 5 and 15 years, so only lower limit of punishment slightly easier).

Article 110 of the criminal code also provides punishment for driving a person to suicide (by blackmail, threats or cruelty).

Murder (or its qualified types listed above) is only reason for the death penalty in modern Russia. From 2 February 1999 till 1 January 2010 a moratorium on the death penalty is in effect, with life sentence used instead.


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