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Zelensky signs law on strengthening responsibility for desertion, disobedience of military personnel

KYIV. Jan 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) – President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed amendments to the legislation on strengthening the responsibility of military personnel, approved by the Verkhovna Rada.

According to the information provided in the card of advising bill No. 8271 on the Verkhovna Rada website, the document was returned to the parliament with the signature of the head of state on Tuesday, January 24.

As reported, the Verkhovna Rada at a meeting on December 13, with 270 votes, supported bill No. 8271 on strengthening responsibility for war crimes, as well as for its immediate signing and sending to the President of Ukraine. On the same day, it was signed by Chairman of the Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk and sent for signature to the head of state.

The bill, in particular, excludes the possibility of releasing military personnel from punishment or imposing a milder punishment on them than provided for by the current Criminal Code of Ukraine (disobedience; failure to comply with an order; threat or violence against a superior; unauthorized abandonment of a place of service; desertion, unauthorized abandonment of a battlefield or refusal to use weapons).

On December 15, petition No. 22/173526-ep was published on the presidential website calling for a veto on the law, which gained 28,000 signatures in the first day, which is more than the required number for consideration by the president.

On December 19, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny spoke in support of changes to the legislation on strengthening the responsibility of military personnel and asks President of Ukraine Zelensky to sign the relevant bill approved by the Verkhovna Rada.