A total of 2,029 people have been charged with administrative offences for “discrediting” the Russian army, including 352 people in Moscow, Pavel Chikov, head of the Agora human rights group, said.
The new article, which introduces fines for “discrediting” the Russian army, entered into force on 4 March. Russian courts consider an average of 40 cases under this article every day, Chikov estimated.
At least four people were hit with criminal charges for a repeat offence under this article, he added. Criminal cases were opened in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Blagoveshchensk, Kemerovo and Nalchik.
Meanwhile, only four administrative charges were filed for “calling for anti-Russian sanctions.” According to Chikov, two protocols were considered in Gorno-Altaysk, one in Tolyatti and one in Moscow.
On March 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law introducing criminal liability for spreading “fake information about the activity of the Russian Armed Forces” and for “calling for anti-Russian sanctions.”
Yesterday, a criminal case was opened against a 68-year-old reporter from Russia’s Kamchatka for repeated discreditation of the Russian army. The media reports that the man in question is Vladimir Efimov, a local journalist and politician.