September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Use of the Death Penalty

Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Miro Alan Alagoz

The current largest country by land in the world, Russia as an entity has existed within Northern Asia and Eastern Europe since 879. The Russian Federation was established in 1991, adopted its current constitution in 1993, and became a union state alongside Belarus in 1999. Russia is home to over 147 Million people, ~70% Russians in addition to many different ethnic groups like the Tatars and Ukrainians, who have been forced under a Russian identity. Religion though gets a more lenient approach in Russia (Except for Jews, though tolerance has recently risen). And though the majority (~60%) and state hold Eastern Orthodox beliefs, ~25% are non-religious and ~10% are Muslim. Governmentally Russia is a semi-presidential republic that holds elections on a 6-year basis (The next one being in 2024) and consists of Republics, Oblast, Krais, Okrugs, and federal cities (83 recognized, 6 unrecognized in Ukraine), which although differ in how they operate within themselves are seen as equals by the central government. Within that federal government, there are 3 branches (executive, legislative, and judicial), and all are under the control of Vladimir Putin, the authoritarian dictator who through various forms has been in power since 1999 alongside his party “United Russia”. This mass one-sided control has corrupted the said Russian democracy, through election fraud and the silencing of political rivals/journalists. Unofficially though since the mid-1990s, Putin has been advised by a series of “Oligarchs”, billionaires who gained ownership of mass Russian wealth after purchasing large shares of governmental organizations that became private after the fall of the USSR. Their existence though is not primarily bad, due to their help in Russian stability to maintain their international businesses. Yet as Putin became more radical and powerful many oligarchs opposed him, leading to backslashes that towarthed their power through property seizures under fabricated charges and killings. Such repression led to a new type of oligarchs called silovarchs, Putin puppets put in charge of the seized business, or loyalists who obey his rule.
Internationally, Russia has been recognized by the UN since 1991 as the precedent of the USSR, a permanent founding member, and their delegate since 2017 has been Vasily Nebenzya. Throughout its current existence, Russia has been involved in many international conflicts like the Post-Soviet Wars, even acting as UN peacekeepers to this day between Armenia and Azerbaijan; The Russo-Georgian War (2008), where Russia gained control of Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia (aka. Alans); The Russian War Against Terror, primarily in the Middle East, Syria, and Mali (Especially since 2015); And the Russo-Ukrainian War (2014 – now), where Russia gained control of the 77% Russian yet historically complicated Autonomous Crimea in 2014 in which it helped establish puppet republics within the diverse yet Russian majority Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, who were annexed alongside bordering lands in 2022. When it comes to wider world relations, Russia has increased its sphere of influence by helping developing and unstable countries in exchange for alliance, as seen with its new endeavor to help build up African countries. Overall though the biggest allies of Russia, especially economically are the “BRICS” countries of Brazil, India, China, and S. Africa. And even though Russia did have feasible relations with multiple powerful nations, most have soured due to “Western” support for Ukraine in the current war, leading to mass financial sanctions being placed on Russia, and their GDP going from 2.3 down to 1.2 Trillion (USD), although its back to 1.8 now.

Topic: Use of the Death Penalty:
In recorded history, the use of the death penalty dates back to the code of the Babylon King Hammurabi in the 18th century B.C.E.. Currently, 109 of the 195 UN-recognized/eligible countries have abolished capital punishment on a de jure basis, 22 have abolished it in practice (no executions in the last 10 years or moratorium), and 54 still have it, while 10 other nations only allow it during times of war. As the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) reports the use has significantly decreased since 1976 with 85 countries having abolished it. Still as Amnesty International reports ~60% of the world population lives under laws that allow for capital punishment in some form, and 2,016 people faced it in 52 countries last year alone.
Though the death penalty in Russia before Tzarian was very rare, as power changed and the monarchy formed through medieval times, it became a common occurrence with ~1.5 Million people getting executed only between 1900 and 1917, as reported by the University of Hawaii. In early Soviet times (mostly Stalin era) ~1.2 Million people were killed by legal executions and ~60 Million more through unlawful methods. In the Russian Federation though, the use of the death penalty has been very scarce, and the Consitution states it to only be a last option for males between the ages of 18 and 60 who have been convicted of murder, or attempted murder of high government officials by a 12-person jury under habeas corpus, and that executions should only take place through a private [and humane] gunshot. But this hasn’t occurred since 1999 due to a strict moratorium placed in 1996 for all circumstances except during wartime.
So far to prevent the use of capital punishment, especially without a just trial by jurors of peers and habeas corpus, the UNHCR has pushed member nations to abolish or establish a moratorium on the death penalty. Furthermore, the 1949 Geneva Convention, which was signed by all UN members has helped act as an excellent global standard for how prisoners and civilians should be treated. The Russian delegation supports this approach and believes in keeping this document which bans torture, the execution of prisoners of war, and genocide strong and intact.
When it comes to global provisions on the use of the death penalty, the Russian delegation strongly opposes a universal ban. Believing in the sole right of individual nations to autonomously decide on what to do within their borders, we rather push for global outlines and restrictions such as an agreement to not impose it on: Children (under 16 years old); Elderly (over 65 years old); Anyone on the sole reason of race/ethnicity/identity; Anyone for non-violent/malicious libel; Anyone without just trial by jurors of peers and habeas corpus; Anyone protected under the Geneva Convention. We as the Russian Federation also vow to keep our current moratorium in place for the time being and to never deter from capital punishment only being an option for murder, or violent treason. Finally, we stay opposed to but not closed to discussions about whether these new restrictions or the Geneva Convention should be reviewed by the UN’s International Court of Justice, but stay closed to discussions on whether the UNICJ should have the jurisdiction to impose restrictions on countries found guilty.

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