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National Security
Reference:

Extremist and Terrorist Crimes in the Courts Decisions Statistics

Moskalev Georgii Leonidovich

ORCID: 0000-0002-0418-0227

PhD in Law

Associate professor, Department of Criminal Law, Siberian Federal University; Associate professor, Shanghai University of Political Science and Law

660075, Russia, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Krasnoyarsk, Maerchaka str., 6, office 4-17

eucaliptus@yandex.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.7256/2454-0668.2022.5.38885

EDN:

DRWZFU

Received:

04-10-2022


Published:

11-10-2022


Abstract: The subject of the study is the statistical data on the state of criminal courts records in Russia in their dynamics for 2017-2021. The relevance of the study is due to the allocation in the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation from 2021 of an independent section dedicated to information security, as well as an indication in it of the threat in the form of extremist and terrorist activities carried out on the Internet. Achieving the goal of defining and specifying this threat required the fulfillment of tasks in the form of: establishing a list of extremist and terrorist information crimes; detecting trends in the number and age of convicts, as well as their distribution in different years according to these compositions. The study found that after a significant decrease in the number of convicts for extremist and terrorist information crimes in 2019, their number last year again approached the numbers of 2017. The distribution of convicts under articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation has undergone serious changes over the past 5 years. It was found that among those convicted of crimes of extremist and terrorist orientation in 2021, the proportion of those who committed crimes using the Internet increased 5 times compared to 2017, reaching a value of 72.21%. The share of those convicted of such crimes over the age of 29 increased from 28.86% in 2018 to 55.89% in 2021. The share of juvenile convicts, on the contrary, decreased, not reaching 5% in 2021. The results of the study allowed us to confirm the increased threat to information security in the form of extremist and terrorist activities carried out on the Internet. The obtained data on the age of convicts can be used to adjust preventive measures of anti-extremist and anti-terrorist orientation, which today are mainly focused on schoolchildren and students.


Keywords:

Information crimes, extremist crimes, terrorist crimes, crimes of terrorist character, internet criminality, extremist activity, terrorist activity, judicial statistics, legal statistics, criminal record status

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The topic of countering criminal manifestations of extremism and terrorism currently continues to be among the most significant in the public, political and scientific spheres. The thesis is illustrated by the annual changes in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation regarding the regulation of responsibility for crimes of extremist and terrorist orientation. The issue remains relevant for the doctrine as well: 7 studies for academic degrees in the field of criminal law sciences that were submitted to dissertation councils only in the current incomplete year (according to the official website of the Higher Attestation Commission under the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation vak.minobrnauki.gov.ru on 09/20/2022).

Since 2015, considerable attention has been paid to countering extremism and terrorism within the framework of ensuring Russia's national security. The previously existing National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation, approved by Presidential Decree No. 683 of December 31, 2015, explicitly stated that "the main directions of ensuring state and public security are strengthening the role of the state as a guarantor of personal security and property rights, improving the legal regulation of crime prevention (including in the information sphere), corruption, terrorism and extremism...", and "activities related to the use of information and communication technologies for the dissemination and propaganda of the ideology of fascism, extremism, terrorism and separatism" were identified in the document among the main threats. Similar provisions can be found in the current National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation, approved by Presidential Decree No. 400 of 02.07.2021. In contrast to the previously existing Strategy, the new document devotes an independent section to information security, when describing the threats of which it indicates that "the Internet information and telecommunications network (hereinafter referred to as the Internet) hosts materials of terrorist and extremist organizations, calls for mass riots, extremist activities." Thus, the new National Security Strategy, unlike the previous one, places special emphasis on the threats associated with the dissemination of extremist and terrorist content.

To designate criminal manifestations of extremism and terrorism, the concepts of "extremist crimes" and "terrorist crimes" are used. The relevant Resolutions of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation No. 11 dated 28.06.2011 and No. 1 dated 09.02.2012 are respectively among the first articles . 280, 280.1, 282, 282.1, 282.2, 282.3 The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, item "l" Part 2 of Article 105, item "e" part 2 of Article 111, item "b" Part 1 of Article 213 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, as well as other crimes committed for these reasons, which, in accordance with paragraph "e" of Part 1 of Article 63 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, are recognized as an aggravating circumstance. To the second group art . 205, 205.1, 205.2, 205.3, 205.4, 205.5, 206, 208, 211, 220, 221, 277, 278, 279, 360 and 361 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. At the same time, the range of crimes of terrorist and extremist orientation in the conduct of judicial statistics in accordance with the Order of the Judicial Department at the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation No. 124 dated 06/25/2021 is somewhat different and is determined similarly to how it happens in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation according to the Instructions of the Prosecutor General of Russia No. 738/11, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia No. 3 dated 12/25/2020. Without additional conditions, crimes of extremist orientation include crimes provided for in paragraph "e" of Part 2 of Article 111, paragraph "e" of Part 2 of Article 112, paragraph "b" of Part 2 of Article 115, paragraph "h" of Part 2 of Article 117, paragraph "b" of Part 1 of Article 213, Articles 280, 280.1, 280.2, 282, 282.1, 282.2, 282.3, 357 The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, and for crimes of a terrorist nature - art. 205, 205.1, 205.2, 205.3, 205.4, 205.5, 205.6, 208, Part 4 of Article 211, Article 277, 360, 361 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. From this group of compositions, crimes can be distinguished, the public danger of which lies in the dissemination of illegal information or illegal non-proliferation of information. In the context of this article, we will designate them as information crimes of extremist and terrorist orientation.

The use of the concept of "information crimes" in this sense may cause reasonable criticism. To date, there is no uniform approach to its definition in the science of criminal law [1, p. 110]. In some cases, the authors refer to such only criminally illegal acts related to the use of information technologies and information and telecommunication networks [1, p. 110]. In others, they associate information crimes with an informational (intangible) object or means of crime [2, p. 11]. Nevertheless, most authors consider crimes related to the dissemination of socially dangerous information to be informational, even if using different criteria for this: an additional object is a stateprotected information turnover [3, p. 29]; an informational method of committing a crime [4, p. 16]; the subject of the crime [5, p. 29]. p. 5]. Consequently, the consideration of criminally unlawful manifestations of extremism and terrorism related to the illegal dissemination (non-proliferation) of information as information crimes corresponds to one of the approaches to the definition of this concept.

In connection with the above, information crimes of extremist and terrorist orientation should include the acts provided for in Articles 205.2, 205.6, 280, 280.1, 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Taking into account the new accents made in the National Security Strategy, within the framework of this work, it is these elements of crimes that are in the focus of attention.

To assess the scale of the threat posed by this group of crimes and its structure, we will analyze the dynamics of changes in the indicators set out in the statistical reports of the Judicial Department at the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation: Reports on the demographic characteristics of convicts for all elements of crimes of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for 2018-2021 and the Report on the composition of convicts, the crime scene for 2017. Table 1 shows the change in the number of convicts by the considered compositions from 2017 to 2021.

NUMBER OF CONVICTS

20172018

2019

2020

2021

part 1 of article 205.2

67

51

46

36

29

part 2 of article 205.29

44

57

111

170

Article 205.614

47

49

74

104

part 1 of article 28020

7

8

12

13

part 2 of article 28088

83

109

135

242

part 1 of Article 280.10

0

0

0

0

part 2 of Article 280.15

4

2

3

0

part 1 of article 282461

418

14

7

20

part 2 of article 2821

8

5

5

23

Total665

662

290

383

601

Table 1

It is worth paying attention to the absence in the period under review of convicts under Part 1 of Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Taking into account the fact that the relative prevalence of a socially dangerous act is considered in the doctrine among the social principles of the criminal law prohibition [6, p. 206], such indicators themselves raise the question of excluding this article from the criminal law. Such a decision would not lead to decriminalization. Since violation of the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation according to Article 1 of Federal Law No. 114-FZ of 25.07.2002 is a kind of extremist activity, public calls for such actions would be covered by Part 1 of Article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which, as the authors rightly note, is the general norm for Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation [7, p. 10]. At the same time, it should be noted that Part 1 of Article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, unlike Part 1 of Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, does not contain an administrative prejudice, which, in case of simultaneous exclusion of Article 20.3.2 from the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation, will lead to the need to bring to criminal responsibility persons who have committed public calls to violate the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation for the first time.

To date, there is no consensus in the science of criminal law on the expediency of using administrative prejudice in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Its supporters emphasize the preventive or preventive effect of administrative prejudice [8, p. 86; 9, 253]. The presented comparison of the dynamics of the number of convicts under Part 1 of Article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and Part 1 of Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation could be interpreted as confirmation of this position. However, the administrative prejudice was included in Part 1 of Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation only at the end of 2020 by Federal Law No. 425-FZ of 08.12.2020, which does not allow to explain in this way the absence of those convicted of this crime in the statistics for 2017-2019.

The most noticeable in these indicators is a significant reduction in 2019 in the total number of people convicted of extremist and terrorist information crimes. The reason for this was that at the end of 2018, Federal Law No. 519-FZ of 27.12.2018 amended the disposition of Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, as a result of which the least dangerous forms of incitement to hatred or enmity, as well as humiliation of human dignity, were decriminalized and moved into the sphere of administratively illegal acts. As a result, the 2019 statistics did not include persons who committed acts aimed at inciting hatred or enmity for the first time, although in 2018 and earlier such convicts were taken into account.

At the same time, by 2021, the number of people convicted of extremist and terrorist information crimes approached the initial value in 2017. However, the distribution by articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation has undergone serious changes, as shown by the data in Table 2.

NUMBER OF CONVICTS2017

2021

Dude.

% of total

Dude.

% of total

part 1 of article 205.2

67

10,05

29

4,81

part 2 of article 205.29

1,35

170

28,22

Article 205.614

1,8

104

17,26

part 1 of article 28020

3

13

2,16

part 2 of article 28088

13,2

242

40,17

part 2 of Article 280.15

0,75

0

0

part 1 of article 282461

69,15

20

3,32

part 2 of article 2821

0,15

23

3,82

Total665

601

Table 2.If in 2017 the first three places in the number of convicts were, respectively, Part 1 of Article 282, Part 2 of Article 280 and Part 1 of Article 205.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (92.4% of the total number in the sample), then in 2021 Part 2 of Article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation moved to the first place, Part 2 of Article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation moved to the second. 2 Article 205.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, for the third Article 205.6 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (85.65% of the total number in the sample).

The most interesting thing is that the compositions with the qualifying sign "committed using mass media or electronic or information and telecommunication networks, including the Internet" in 2017 accounted for only 15.45% of those convicted of extremist and terrorist information crimes. In 2021, their share increased to 72.21%, that is, almost five times! The presented data prove that the dissemination of extremist and terrorist content over the past 5 years has mostly moved to the Internet. In this regard, it becomes clear why in the new National Security Strategy, in the context of countering terrorism and extremism, special attention has been paid to information security.

No less interesting is the age distribution of those convicted of spreading extremist and terrorist content on the Internet. In paragraph 47, the Strategy of 2021, among the tasks of state policy aimed at ensuring state and public security, speaks about the prevention of extremist and other criminal manifestations, primarily among minors and young people. In paragraph 52, the Strategy of 2021 indicates that the main object of destructive influence, including the placement of materials of terrorist and extremist organizations in the information and telecommunications network "Internet", is the youth. However, the data on the age indicators of convicts presented in table 3 are not fully consistent with the provisions of the Strategy.

AGE INDICATORS(Part 2 of Article 205.2 of the Criminal Code, Part 2 of Article 280 of the Criminal Code, Part 2 of Article 282 of the Criminal Code)

2018

2019

2020

2021

14-17 years old

18 (13,32 %)

11 (6,38 %)

16 (5,92 %)

19 (4,37 %)

18-24 years old53 (39,22 %)

79 (45,82 %)

69 (25,53 %)

104 (23,92 %)

25-29 years old25 (18,5 %)

33 (19,14 %)

48 (17,76 %)

69 (15,87 %)

30-49 years old33 (24,42 %)

42 (24,36 %)

106 (39,22 %)

207 (47,61 %)

50 years and older6 (4,44 %)

6 (3, 48 %)

29 (10,73 %)

36 (8,28 %)

Total135

171

268

435

Table 3.

It is not difficult to notice that since 2018, the share of minors convicted of extremist and terrorist information crimes committed on the Internet has been steadily decreasing and in 2021 did not exceed 5%.

During the approbation of the main provisions of this study at the XIV All-Russian Scientific and Practical Conference with international participation "Yenisei Political and Legal readings" (19-24.09.2022, Krasnoyarsk) by Dr. Yurid. V. V. Baburin, Professor of the Department of Criminology and Crime Prevention of the Omsk Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, suggested that the decrease in the proportion of minors convicted under the articles in question was due to a possible change in law enforcement practice, as a result of which criminal cases were no longer initiated against persons under 18 years of age according to these elements of crimes. However, the absolute number of such convicts in 2017-2021 remains virtually unchanged (from 11 to 19 people), which is evidence against the assumption put forward.

At the same time, the proportion of those convicted of these crimes aged 30 and over has grown significantly and has become predominant: from 28.86% to 55.89%, that is, twice. Approximately the same share in 2018 was occupied by those convicted of these crimes aged 18 to 29 years (57.72%). Consequently, over the past four years, the age of the majority of those convicted of the crimes in question has crossed the border into 30 years, and today, in most cases, the criminally illegal dissemination of information of extremist and terrorist content is carried out by quite adult persons.

This conclusion partly confirms our earlier assumption that one of the factors influencing the commission of offenses and crimes related to the dissemination of illegal information on the Internet is a low level of communication culture in the network [10, p. 69], which has no age boundaries. In 2018, we justified this hypothesis by the correlation between the share of authors of original content in the VK, the most popular social network in Russia at that time (70% for persons under 30) and the share of persons under 30 who committed criminally illegal dissemination of extremist and terrorist information (70% according to interviewing lawyers of the Krasnoyarsk Territory) [10, p. 67]. Statistics on the number of convicts in 2018 confirm the results of an earlier survey: 71% of those convicted of such crimes were young 30 years old. Thus, the statistical data used in this work serve as an additional argument in favor of the fact that the type of crimes in question is not peculiar to any one age group of persons. The prevalence of information crimes of extremist and terrorist orientation in population groups of different ages depends on their activity on the Internet and on the level of culture of communication on the network.

The obtained conclusion is important for the correction of preventive measures of anti-extremist and anti-terrorist orientation, which today are mostly focused on schoolchildren and students. This measure is designed to counteract another factor affecting the illegal dissemination of information - the lack of understanding of the danger to society of such an act [10, p. 68]. Its effectiveness directly depends on the coverage of the target age group of potential offenders, which today are persons over 29 years old.

References
1. Grebenkov A. A. (2018). The concept of computer crimes, place in the criminal legislation of Russia and the place of information features in the structure of the elements. Lex Russica, 4 (137), 108-120.
2. Ustjev L. G. (2010). Criminal liability for corruption information crimes. Tambov.
3. Bukalerova L. A. (2007). Information crimes in the sphere of state and municipal administration: legislative and law enforcement problems. Moscow.
4. Susloparov A. V. (2010). Computer crimes as a kind of informational crimes. Vladivostok.
5. Yurchenko I. A. (2003). The concept and types of information crimes. Russian law on the Internet, 1, 5.
6. Kudryavtsev V. N., Yakovlev A. M. (Ed.). (1982). Grounds for a criminal law prohibition. Criminalization and decriminalization. Moscow: Nauka.
7. Gorshkov D. Yu. (2022). Content of criminal public calls for violation of territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. Russian law: education, practice, research, 2, 10-15.
8. Kapinus O. S. (2019). Administrative prejudice in criminal law: problems of theory and practice. Journal of Russian Law, 6, 78-86.
9. Kolosova V. I. (2011). Administrative precedent as a means of crime prevention and improvement of criminal law. Vestnik of Lobachevsky University of Nizhni Novgorod, 5 (1), 246-254.
10. Moskalev G. L., Akunchenko E. A. (Ed.). (2018). Dissemination of extremist information on the Internet: problems of prevention. Yenisei Political and legal readings: a collection of scientific articles based on the materials of the XI All-Russian Scientific and Practical Conference. Krasnoyarsk: Public Committee for the Protection of Human Rights.

Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

A REVIEW of an article on the topic "Information crimes of extremist and terrorist orientation in the materials of judicial statistics". The subject of the study. The article proposed for review is devoted to information crimes "...extremist and terrorist orientation in the materials of judicial statistics." The author has chosen a special subject of research: the proposed issues are investigated from the point of view of administrative and criminal law, while the author notes that "Significant attention has been paid to countering extremism and terrorism since 2015 within the framework of ensuring Russia's national security." The study mainly examines the criminal legislation of Russia (Criminal Code, Administrative Code), materials of judicial statistics relevant to the purpose of the study. A certain amount of scientific literature (but not quite up-to-date) on the stated issues is also studied and summarized, analysis and discussion with the opposing authors are given. At the same time, the author notes that "To designate criminal manifestations of extremism and terrorism, the concepts of "extremist crimes" and "terrorist crimes" are used." Research methodology. The purpose of the study is determined by the title and content of the work: "The topic of countering criminal manifestations of extremism and terrorism currently continues to be among the most significant in the public, political and scientific spheres." It can be designated as the consideration and resolution of certain problematic aspects related to the above-mentioned issues and the use of certain judicial experience. Based on the set goals and objectives, the author has chosen a certain methodological basis for the study. In particular, the author uses a set of general scientific, special legal methods of cognition. In particular, the methods of analysis and synthesis made it possible to generalize some approaches to the proposed topic and partially influenced the author's conclusions. But as noted, there are no works in recent years, except for one on the main problem of 2018. The most important role was played by special legal methods. In particular, the author used a formal legal method, which allowed for the analysis and interpretation of the norms of current Russian legislation. In particular, the following conclusions are drawn: "The prevalence of information crimes of extremist and terrorist orientation in population groups of different ages depends on their activity on the Internet and on the level of culture of communication on the network," etc. Thus, the methodology chosen by the author is adequate to the purpose of the article, allows you to study certain aspects of the topic. The relevance of the stated issues is beyond doubt. This topic is one of the most important in Russia, from a legal point of view, the work proposed by the author can be considered relevant, namely, he notes that "An illustration ... is the annual changes in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation regarding the regulation of responsibility for crimes of extremist and terrorist orientation. The issue remains relevant for the doctrine as well: 7 studies for academic degrees in the field of criminal law sciences, which were submitted to dissertation councils only in the current incomplete year." And in fact, an analysis of the work of opponents and the NPA should follow here, and it follows mainly in relation to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, materials of judicial statistics, and the author shows the ability to master the material. Thus, scientific research in the proposed field is only to be welcomed. Scientific novelty. The scientific novelty of the proposed article is beyond doubt. It is expressed in the specific scientific conclusions of the author. Among them, for example, is this: "... over the past four years, the age of the majority of those convicted of the crimes in question has crossed the 30-year limit, and today, in most cases, criminally unlawful dissemination of information of extremist and terrorist content is carried out by quite adult persons." As can be seen, these and other "theoretical" conclusions can be used in further scientific research. Thus, the materials of the article as presented may be of interest to the scientific community. Style, structure, content. The subject of the article corresponds to the specialization of the National Security magazine, as it is devoted to information crimes "... extremist and terrorist orientation in the materials of judicial statistics." The article contains an analysis of the opponents' scientific works, so the author notes that a question has already been raised that is relatively close to this topic and the author uses their materials, discusses with opponents. The content of the article corresponds to the title, since the author considered the stated problems and achieved the goal of his research. The quality of the presentation of the study and its results should be recognized as practically refined. The subject, tasks, methodology, results of legal research, and scientific novelty directly follow from the text of the article. The design of the work meets the requirements for this kind of work. No significant violations of these requirements were found, except for the lack of modern literature. Bibliography. The quality of the literature presented and used should be relatively low. The lack of modern scientific literature narrows the validity of the author's conclusions. The works of the above authors correspond to the research topic, but do not fully possess the sign of sufficiency, contribute to the disclosure of some aspects of the topic. Appeal to opponents. The author conducted an analysis of the state of the problem under study, but the lack of work in 2019-2022 (except for some minor, i.e. not the main, problems). The author describes the opponents' different points of view on the problem, argues for a more correct position in his opinion, based on the materials of judicial statistics, and offers solutions to individual problems. Conclusions, the interest of the readership. The conclusions are logical and specific. The article in this form may be of interest to the readership in terms of the systematic positions of the author in relation to the issues stated in the article, which should be typical for legal research. Based on the above, summing up all the positive and negative sides (errors) of the article, I recommend "publishing" taking into account the comments on the literature.