Acquittals In Russian Courts Fall To Only One In Every 670 Cases – OpEd


The number of acquittals in Russian courts is not about one percent as was the case as recently as a decade ago and as many still believe but only 0.15 percent –one in every 670 cases, Elena Yurishina says. And these consist almost exclusively siloviki, judges or people who have been accused not by the authorities but by other private parties.

The analyst for the Anti-Torture Team reports this in a detailed article for the To Be Preciseportal (

Yurishina points out that these figures, for calendar year 2022, were gathered no by her organization but are contained in the official report of the Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ( What that means is that the real situation may be even worse than Moscow is reporting.

But her research into the official figures calls attention to the fact that officials and especially those in the force structures are vastly more frequently found innocent compared to those in all other categories, that juries are 100 times more likely to find someone innocent than judges, and that only half of the charges brought by private persons leads to a sentence.

And the legal specialist concludes with regret that the Russian authorities are doing every thing they can to reduce the number of people found innocent lest not guilty verdicts undermine the authority of the judicial system which itself is an important support for the current Putin regime.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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