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Russia has detailed counterterrorism provisions in its domestic law, in particular in its Criminal Code. The maximum sentence is the death penalty, imposable for specific terrorist offences perpetrated against public figures. As of writing, Russian forces were perpetrating manifold acts of terror in its war in Ukraine, seemingly with full impunity.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Terrorism is defined in Russia's Criminal Code as:

the perpetration of an explosion, arson, or any other action endagering the lives of people, causing sizable property damage, or entailing other socially dangerous consequences, if these actions have been committed for the purpose of violating public security, frightening the population, or exerting influence on decision-making by governmental bodies, and also the threat of committing said actions for the same ends.Art. 205(1), Criminal Code of Russia. 

In the 2006 Law on Countering Terrorism, terrorism is defined as "the ideology of violence and the practice of influencing the adoption of a decision by public authorities, local self-government bodies or international organizations connected with frightening the population and (or) other forms of unlawful violent actions".

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Russia is a State Party to all of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Russia is also a State Party to several European regional treaties on terrorism. It has been a non-member of the Council of Europe since March 2022, following its expulsion as a result of its aggression against Ukraine.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State not party
2003 Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State not party
2005 Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party
2015 Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The Criminal Code ordinarily punishes terrorist offences with a term of imprisonment for between eight and twelve years.Art. 205(1), Criminal Code of Russia.Terrorism in which firearms are used attracts a prison term of ten to twenty years.Art. 205(2), Criminal Code of Russia. 

Encroachment on the life of a statesman or a public figure, committed for the purpose of terminating his government or any other political activity, or out of revenge for such activity (a terrorist act), is punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of 12 to 20 years, or by imprisonment for life, or by capital punishment.Art. 277, Criminal Code of Russia. 

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

Russia has considerable counterterrorism capacities at domestic level in both its federal police and army. The use of the armed forces in counterterrorism is specifically authorized in the 2006 Law.


Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (English translation)

Russian Federation 2006 Law on Countering Terrorism (English translation)