Putin signs decree toughening penalties for fleeing Russia's military mobilization

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday signed a decree increasing prison sentences for those fleeing a mandatory call-up for military duty. 

Under the decree, the penalty for evading military duty during mobilization was doubled from five to 10 years.

Also under the decree, soldiers who surrender voluntarily to the enemy army could face 10 years in prison, and those who plunder during wartime could be sentenced to 15 years.

Putin also signed another decree allowing foreigners serving in the Russian army to apply for citizenship without a residence permit.

This law will apply to foreigners who have entered into a contract with the Russian armed forces for a period of at least one year.

Last week, the lower house of the Russian parliament and the Federation Council approved the decrees.

On Wednesday, Russia announced the mobilization of a reported 300,000 men age 18-50 for its seven-month-old war on Ukraine, which recently suffered a series of setbacks.

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