MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Up to 60,000 prisoners may be pardoned as part of a sweeping amnesty to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over the Nazi Germany, the Kremlin press service said Thursday.
The press service said in a statement:
“According to preliminary estimates, the amnesty may be granted to up to 60,000 individuals sentenced to prison terms and up to 200,000 individuals who serve suspended sentences or have had their prison terms replaced with a milder sentence, persons whose jailing has been postponed and those whose punishment does not entail an imprisonment.”
The amnesty is said to affect prisoners who committed minor crimes and misdemeanors, war veterans, older men and women, as well as those with minor and disabled children.
Speaking at a presentation ceremony of senior officers, meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the improvement of Russia's penitentiary system.
"It is important to provide the legally defined conditions of convicted persons, to continue optimizing and upgrading prison infrastructure, and increase the level of employment and medical care."
The pardon, to commemorate the 70th anniversary the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, does not apply to prisoners convicted of felonies and other aggravated criminal offenses.