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Government Support: Russian Federation
Government Assistance to Victims
Mechanisms necessary for providing assistance to victims of terrorism are operational in the
Under article 52 of the Constitution, the rights of persons who have suffered harm from offences shall be protected by the law. The State shall guarantee the victims' access to justice and compensation for damage.
Under paragraph 28 of the Public Security Strategy, approved by the President in November 2013, the basic operational goals of public security forces within their competence in the face of a terrorist act consist in, inter alia, avoiding casualties or reducing them as much as possible, with priority given to human life and health over material and financial assets; undertaking emergency rescue efforts; providing medical and other assistance to counter-terrorism officers and to victims; and, subsequently, ensuring the social and psychological rehabilitation of victims, the reduction of the consequences of the terrorist act and its negative moral and psychological impact on society or individual social groups, the restoration of any facilities damaged or destroyed, and the provision of compensation for any physical damage to individuals or legal entities in accordance with the law.
Articles 18 and 19 of Federal Act No. 35-FZ of 6 March 2006 on combating terrorism (Counter-Terrorism Act) provide for legal and social protection measures for victims of terrorist acts. Under article 18, the State shall pay damages to individuals and legal entities harmed by such acts.
Such payments are governed by Government Decision No. 110 of
(1) Lump-sum benefits, shared equally by all member of the family (spouse, children, parents and other dependants) of persons deceased as a result of terrorist act; to the families of such deceased persons, according to the relevant funeral benefits provisions of the law; to persons having been physically harmed by a terrorist act; and to hostages, even if not physically harmed;
(2) Financial assistance for individuals and legal entities in connection with loss of property.
Government Decision No. 561 of
Under article 18 of the Counter-Terrorism Act, compensation for any damage, including moral injury, caused by a terrorist act, is charged, according to a procedure established by civil law, to the perpetrator, and even to members of his or her family, relatives or close acquaintances if there are sufficient reasons to presume that money, assets or other property were obtained by them as a result of the terrorist act and/or are income from such property.
Claims for damages for loss of life or health injury caused by a terrorist act are subject to no statute of limitations.
Article 19 of the Counter-Terrorism Act provides for the social rehabilitation of victims of terrorist acts. Such support includes psychological, medical and professional rehabilitation, legal assistance, and help in finding employment; and aims at the social reintegration of the victims according to a procedure laid down in Government Decision No. 6 of
Specialists of the psychological services of the Ministry of Emergency and Disaster Relief provide psychological assistance to victims and to the relatives and close acquaintances of persons deceased as a result of acts of terrorism, special attention in view of the shock, psychological counselling, and information-based and emotional support. Psychological support is also offered to specialists engaged in dealing with the consequences of acts of terrorism, and in connection with related large-scale and other necessary measures.
Under article 11 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in the event that there is sufficient evidence that a victim, a witness or other participants in criminal proceedings or their close relatives, relations or close acquaintances are threatened with murder, violence, destruction or damage of their property, or with other illegal dangerous acts, the court, prosecutor, investigator, inquiring body and interrogating officer shall take, within the limit of their powers, with respect to the said persons, the security measures stipulated in articles 166(9), 186(2), 193(8), 241(2)(4) and 278(5) of the Code, and other security measures specified in the legislation.
Security measures that may be taken in the case of protected persons, as laid down, in particular, in article 6 of Federal Act No. 119-FZ of 20 August 2004 on "State protection of victims, witnesses and other participants in criminal proceedings", are: personal protection; protection of residence and property; provision of special means for individual protection; communication and information regarding dangers; confidentiality of personal details; moving to a different place of residence; replacement of documents; change of appearance; change of place of employment or study; and temporary accommodation at a secure place.
The Government provides special training to persons responsible for assistance to victims of terrorism.
Experts in the field receive appropriate training as part of the course programmes of establishments of higher education and further vocational training.
Legal Resources available to Victims
Article 43 Code of the Criminal Procedure defines a victim, lays down the procedure for deciding to recognize a person as a victim and specifies the rights of victims. Thus, a victim is considered to be an individual on whom the offence has inflicted a physical, property-related or moral damage, or a legal entity whose property or business reputation has been damaged by the offence. The question whether to recognize a person as a victim is addressed immediately upon initiation of criminal proceedings and is decided by the interrogating officer, investigator or prosecutor, or by the court. Should no information be available upon initiation of criminal proceedings concerning the person having suffered damage as a result of the offence, the above question is addressed immediately upon receipt of such information.
The victim must be guaranteed compensation for any property damage caused by the offence, and for expenses incurred in connection with his or her participation in preliminary investigations and court proceedings, including expenses for a counsel, according to article 131 of the Code.
If the victim files a claim for compensation for moral injury, the amount of the compensation shall be determined by the court during criminal proceedings or through civil law proceedings.
Under article 11 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the court, prosecutor, investigator and interrogating officer are obliged to explain to victims their rights, responsibilities and liabilities, and to provide the possibility for those rights to be exercised.
Collaboration with other Organisations
The Russian Federation is actively involved in international efforts aimed at providing support for victims of terrorism. In particular, the Russian Federation supports the relevant activities of the United Nations, the Global Counter Terrorism Forum, the Council of Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.