Related Rule
Russian Federation
Practice Relating to Rule 139. Respect for International Humanitarian Law
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) provides:
Having declared that international law pre-empts national law and having ratified the Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions on 4 August 1989, the Soviet Union has accepted the obligation to ensure respect for them by all State and public organizations and by its citizens, including the Armed Forces of the USSR. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, § 3.
The manual further provides that the “armed forces shall be subject to a disciplinary regime that ensures respect for the rules of IHL”. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, § 12.
The manual also states that, in time of war, commanders must “ensure the strict application of the rules of IHL by military personnel”. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, § 14(b).
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
Members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation shall know and unconditionally observe the rules of international humanitarian law.
While organizing and conducting combat operations the commander and staff must take into account the rules of international humanitarian law. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 4.
The Regulations further states:
The commander and staff while organizing and conducting combat operations, firmly securing combat mission accomplishment, shall ensure respect of international humanitarian law … While getting military units ready for combat operations and controlling them during hostilities commanders shall be guided by the principles of international humanitarian law: the principles of legality, distinction, proportionality, humanity and military necessity … The principle of legality means strict and precise respect of international humanitarian law by all military command bodies, military and civilian personnel. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, §§ 16–17.
[emphasis in original]
The Russian Federation’s Combat Manual (2005) states: “Every serviceman must know and respect the norms of international humanitarian law”. 
Russian Federation, Combat Manual on the Preparation and Conducting of Combined-Arms Battles (Boevoi ustav po podgotovke i vedeniu obshevoiskovogo boya), Part 3, Platoon, Subdivision, Tank, endorsed by Order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces No. 19, 24 February 2005, § 24.
The Disciplinary Regulations of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (2007) states:
3. Military discipline makes it obligatory for every member of the Armed Forces:
- to respect the rules of international humanitarian law in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
4. Military discipline is achieved:
- through knowledge and respect by members of the Armed Forces of the laws of the Russian Federation, other normative acts of the Russian Federation, requirements of military service regulations and IHL rules. 
Russian Federation, Disciplinary Regulations of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Disciplinarniy ustav vooruzhennikh sil Rossiskoi Federacii), approved by Decree No. 1495 of the President of the Russian Federation, 10 November 2007, §§ 3–4.
The Internal Service Regulations of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (2007) provides:
16. Defence of State sovereignty and of territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, ensuring the security of the State, repelling an armed attack and attaining objectives in accordance with international obligations of the Russian Federation shall be the essence of the military duty, which makes it obligatory for a member of military personnel:
- to respect general principles and rules of international law and international treaties of the Russian Federation.
22. A member of military personnel must know and respect IHL rules and regulations pertaining to treatment of the wounded, sick, shipwrecked, medical personnel, ministers of religion, civilian population in areas of hostilities and prisoners of war.
83. A commander (superior) must improve his personal professional level of training and methods of management of a unit:
- know the normative legal acts of the Russian Federation within the limits of the legal minimum and IHL rules and act in strict compliance therewith, and to demand that his subordinates respect them. 
Russian Federation, Internal Service Regulations of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Ustav vnutrennei sluzhbi vooruzhennikh sil Rossiskoi Federacii), approved by Decree No. 1495 of the President of the Russian Federation, 10 November 2007, §§ 16, 22 and 83.
The Russian Federation’s Law on Status of Members of Armed Forces (1993), as amended, provides:
Protection of the State sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation … constitutes the essence of the soldier’s duty, which obliges military servicemen: … to observe universally recognized principles and legal regulations of international law and international treaties [ratified] by the Russian Federation. 
Russian Federation, Law on Status of Members of Armed Forces as amended, 1993, Article 26.
The Russian Federation’s Service Regulations of the Armed Forces (1993) provides:
A serviceman is obliged to know and pronouncedly observe international rules regarding the conduct of military operations and the treatment of the wounded, sick, shipwrecked and the civilian population in the military operations area, as well as prisoners of war. 
Russian Federation, Service Regulations of the Armed Forces, 1993, Article 19.
In 1997, at a seminar on national implementation of IHL in the Russian Federation, a Russian Major-General of Justice and Deputy Chief for Training and Research Activities, stated:
Given that the 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation recognized that the commonly accepted principles and norms of international law and international treaties to which the Russian Federation is a party are an integral part of its legal system (Article 15, Part 4), we can assert that in Russia there is a constitutional guarantee of respect of rules of international humanitarian law. 
Russian Federation, Mikhail Mikhailovich Korneev, Major-general of Justice, Deputy Chief for Training and Research Activities, cited in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and ICRC, National seminar on the implementation of international humanitarian law in the Russian Federation, Military University, Moscow, 2–3 December 1997, p. 84.
In an Order issued in 2001 on measures to ensure respect for international humanitarian law by the armed forces of the Russian Federation, the Russian Federation’s Minister of Defence stated:
With a view of implementing the international treaties relative to the international humanitarian law, I Hereby Order:
- strict observance by the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation of the combat regulations and combat support regulations requirements, while strictly respecting international humanitarian law. 
Russian Federation, Order by the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation No. 360, On Measures to Ensure Respect of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Prikaz Ministra Oboroni Rossiiskoi Federacii o merah po sobludeniu norm vezhdunarodnogo prava v vooruzhennikh silakh Rossiiskoi Federacii), 8 August 2001, § 2.
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
In their service activities commanding officers shall be guided by generally accepted principles and rules of international humanitarian law that oblige them:
a) in peace time:
- to organize and be personally involved in the dissemination of international humanitarian law amongst the subordinated personnel; to ensure that it is studied within the process of training and education of servicemen drawing their attention to the fact that the legislation of the Russian Federation provides for criminal responsibility for some breaches of international humanitarian law;
- to constantly maintain law and order and stern military discipline thus ensuring that the subordinates strictly observe the rules of international humanitarian law in the event of armed conflict;
- to invite the commander’s assistant on legal matters acting as the legal advisor in the event of armed conflict to take part in organizing combat training;
- to supervise the training of medical personnel and legal service officers related to studying and carrying out the rules of international humanitarian law;
b) in the event of armed conflict:
- to set an example in the respect of international humanitarian law rules;
- to ensure knowledge and strict respect of international humanitarian law by the subordinated personnel;
- to repress violations of international humanitarian law by the subordinated personnel, if any, call to account the offenders and report to the superior commander. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 10.
The Russian Federation’s Combat Manual (2005) states:
When carrying out an assigned mission, every commander, within the framework of his responsibilities, must take into account the norms of international humanitarian law, and when making a decision, must ensure that they are respected by his subordinates. 
Russian Federation, Combat Manual on the Preparation and Conducting of Combined-Arms Battles (Boevoi ustav po podgotovke i vedeniu obshevoiskovogo boya), Part 3, Platoon, Subdivision, Tank, endorsed by Order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces No. 19, 24 February 2005, § 24.
The Internal Service Regulations of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (2007) provides:
General Obligations of Commanders (Superiors)
77. … In the course of carrying out combat missions by a military unit, the commander (superior) guided by requirements of field manuals, must take measures aimed at respecting IHL rules and bring to disciplinary responsibility those guilty of breaching them. In the event of discovering constituent elements of criminal offence in the actions (omissions) of his subordinates, the commander of the unit shall institute criminal proceedings, in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
83. A commander (superior) must improve his personal professional level of training and methods of management of a unit:
- know the normative legal acts of the Russian Federation within the limits of the legal minimum and IHL rules and act in strict compliance therewith, and to demand that his subordinates respect them. 
Russian Federation, Internal Service Regulations of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Ustav vnutrennei sluzhbi vooruzhennikh sil Rossiskoi Federacii), approved by Decree No. 1495 of the President of the Russian Federation, 10 November 2007, §§ 77 and 83.
In its Order on the Publication of the Geneva Conventions and Protocols (1990), the Russian Ministry of Defence required “the implementation of the instructions concerning the application of the rules of international humanitarian law by the armed forces of the USSR” annexed to the said order, i.e. the Russian Federation’s Military Manual. 
Russian Federation, Order on the Publication of the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, 1990, § 1.