In the first six months of 2023, at least 43 people became defendants in criminal cases on treason (Article 275 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), Nyurstka calculated based on media reports and human rights activists. At the same time, for the whole of 2022, there were two times less of them.
Suspected of treason this year were detained in 20 subjects of Russia, as well as in the annexed Crimea and Sevastopol. In most cases, the defendants in such cases are brought to Moscow. In second and third place in terms of the frequency of mentioning treason in the news are the Khabarovsk Territory (4 people) and the Belgorod Region (3 people).
The publication notes that most cases of treason are related to the war in Ukraine. The Russians were allegedly detained because of the transfer of information to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (10 people) and attempts to leave to fight on the side of Ukraine (10 people). Another reason for initiating cases of treason is donations in favor of the armed forces of Ukraine (6 people). Also, two people were detained, allegedly due to the preparation of a terrorist attack and inclination to go over to the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In one case, a Russian became a defendant in the case under Article 275 due to the arson of a military registration and enlistment office.
Another reason for initiating such cases is treason in favor of China. In 2023, on this basis, three people were arrested under an article on treason.
The reasons for the persecution of nine other defendants in such cases are still unknown.
In 2022, treason cases were initiated against 21 people.