Putin signs law that can land people in prison for up to 15 years for ‘fakes’ about Russia’s Ukraine war volunteers

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law to introduce prison sentences of up to 15 years for spreading what the Kremlin regards as “fakes” about volunteers fighting in the Ukraine war.

The relevant article of the Russian Criminal Code, which already punishes people for up to 15 years in prison in case the “fakes” resulted in serious consequences, was expanded to add the provision that bans “fakes” about the volunteers, volunteers units, and organisations “who carry out tasks for the Russian Armed Forces”.

He also put his signature under a law that punishes “discrediting the special military operation combatants”, including volunteers, with up to seven years behind bars.

Moreover, Putin signed another law that introduces administrative fines of up to 500,000 rubles for “discrediting” volunteers fighting in Ukraine.

Russia’s lower house of parliament adopted the bill in its third and final reading on 14 March.

“Everyone who now risks their lives to ensure security of the country and its citizens is protected against provocations and lies. These actions are unacceptable. The perpetrators are facing a serious punishment: up to 15 years in prison,” speaker Vyacheslav Volodin wrote.

Russia has thrown not just its regular army on the frontlines to fight its war in Ukraine but also dozens of armed groups, including private military companies and volunteer battalions. Earlier, Novaya Gazeta Europe counted 52 battalions and 10 other units that openly recruit volunteers and compete for “human resources” with each other.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.
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