Soviet Laws

Criminal Code of
the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic (1960)

The Chronicle frequently refers to specific articles of Soviet law. Those mentioned most often are found in the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, “Russia” for short. (Their equivalents in the Criminal Codes of the other 14 Union Republics, cf. Article 70, usually had a different numeration.)

Article Number, Summary of subject
(example from Chronicle)

Article 15 – Responsibility for preparing, and attempting, to commit a crime (e.g. 17.6).

Article 17 – Complicity in a crime (e.g.20.1)

Article 38 – Extenuating circumstances. (e.g. 14.7).

Article 39 – Aggravating circumstances (e.g. crime committed as part of a group) (e.g. 14.7).

Article 40 – (e.g. 16.5)

Article 43  – Imposition of a penalty less severe than that prescribed by law.

Article 58 – Court approval for enforced medical (psychiatric) treatment// (e.g. 15.1)

Article 64 – Betrayal of the Motherland [Treason]
— 64 (a) … actions deliberately committed by a citizen of the USSR to the detriment of its national independence, territorial integrity and military might… (e.g. 17.6).
— 64 (?//) “flight abroad or refusal to return to the USSR from abroad” (e.g. 4.4).

Article 68 – Sabotage or subversive activity.

Article 70 – Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.

Article 72 – Organisational activity directed towards the committing of especially dangerous State crimes, and equally membership of an anti-Soviet organisation (e.g. 13.3).

Article 83 – Illegally leaving or entering the USSR (e.g. 4.4).

Article 88 – Violation of the laws governing currency transactions (e.g. 58.3).

Article 93-1 – Theft of State or public property on an especially large scale (e.g. 17.6).

Article 102 – Premeditated murder (e.g. 16.5).

Article 108 – Infringement of “passport” (i.e. identity card) regulations (e.g. 8.9).

Article 130, part 2 – Libel in a printed work or a work duplicated by some other means, and equally slander committed by a person previously convicted of slander (e.g. 4.6).

Article 142 – Violation of the laws governing the separation of Church from State, and school from Church.

Article 143 – Incitement to violate the laws governing the separation of Church from State and school from Church (e.g. 15.5).

Article 154 – Speculation (e.g. 58.3).

Article 162 – Engaging in a forbidden means of livelihood (e.g. 16.7).

Article 173 – Accepting a bribe.

Article 180 (paragraph 2) – Giving deliberately false information about the commission of an especially dangerous state crime or other serious crime, or involving the fabrication of evidence, or for mercenary reasons.

Article 189 – Concealing a crime (e.g. 20.1).

ARTICLE 190 (introduced in 1966)

Article 190-1 – Spreading of deliberate fabrications, verbal or otherwise, slandering the Soviet political and social system.

Article 190-2 – Violation of the State Emblem or Flag.

Article 190-3  – Group activities disturbing public order (e.g. 4.1). Subject of 22 January 1967 demonstration in Moscow on Pushkin Square

Article 191-1 (paragraph 2) – Resistance to a police officer or people’s vigilante in the performance of his duties, involving violence or the threat of violence.

Article 196, part 1 – Forgery of documents (e.g 1.1).

Article 198-2  – Breaking the rules of surveillance (e.g. 35.2).

Article 206 (paragraph 2) – Malicious hooliganism (e.g. 14.6).

Article 218 (paragraph 1) – The unauthorised bearing, possession, manufacture or sale of fire-arms, ammunition or explosives.

Article 247 – Desertion from a military unit.

Expanded from a list published by AI editors and translators in Chronicle No 18. See H.J. Berman (ed.), Soviet Criminal Law and Procedure, Oxford, 1966, for full texts.

Articles 70 and 72 …