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War in Ukraine: a law provides for up to 12 years in prison in the event of “collaboration” with Russia

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The Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, passed a bill on Thursday that makes “collaboration” with Russia punishable by up to 12 years in prison.

The text adds to the Ukrainian penal code in force a new article entitled “aiding and abetting the aggressor state”, which punishes “from 10 to 12 years” in prison any cooperation with the “enemy”, its administration and its armed forces or paramilitary formations.

In addition to the prison sentence, those convicted will be banned from holding administrative positions, including local ones, for up to 15 years and may have their property confiscated.

Two residents already prosecuted

The text was adopted by 350 votes for, none against and 39 abstentions, according to a press release published on the Rada website. It is the first law of this kind to have been passed by the Ukrainian Parliament since the start of the Russian attack on February 24.

“It is a just sanction against those who help the aggressor,” said Olena Chouliak, the leader of “Servant of the people”, the party of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The prosecutor’s office in Kherson, a southern city occupied by the Russian army, announced on Telegram that it had opened an investigation against two residents of Nova Kakhovka, 80 km further east, suspected of “helping with their willingly” the invader.

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