"Anti-drug legislation. 95% of all drug crimes registered in Russia in 2013–2014 were prosecuted under articles 228 and 228.1 of its Criminal Code. The severity of a penalty under these articles depends on the type of drug offense (drug use or drug sale) and on the weight of the drug seized, which are classified via threshold quantities as “significant”, “large” or “especially large” (Appendix B, Tables B2 and B3). According to the law, the drug quantity seized is determined not by the weight of the pure drug substance but by the weight of the entire mixture. Therefore, if a police officer seizes, for example, one gram of heroin mixed with two grams of sugar, it will be considered to be three grams of heroin.

"The punishment for drug possession of a “significant” quantity, with no intention to sell, is a fine of up to approximately $1,13810, corrective labor, restriction of liberty, or imprisonment for up to three years. For “large” and “especially large” quantities, the punishment is imprisonment for three to ten and ten to fifteen years, respectively. In the case of voluntary surrender of drugs to a police officer and active assistance during the investigation, an offender is exempted from criminal liability. If the quantity of drugs seized is less than significant, only administrative penalties of a fine of up to approximately $14210 or arrest for up to fifteen days can be imposed.

"Drug sale is punishable by imprisonment for four to eight years if the quantity is less than “significant”, eight to fifteen years for a “significant” quantity, and ten to twenty years for a “large” quantity. “Especially large” quantities carry a fifteen to twenty years or life sentence. Thus, the crime is serious if the quantity of drug seized is less than “significant”, and most serious if the quantity is “significant” or higher."


Ekaterina Travova, Under pressure? Performance evaluation of police officers as an incentive to cheat, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 212, 2023, Pages 1143-1172, ISSN 0167-2681, doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2023.05.021.