Friday, March 24, 2023

Russian lawmakers approve prison term for criticizing mercenaries – Usky News

MOSCOW: Russian lawmakers on Tuesday approved a law under which anyone criticizing mercenaries could be jailed for up to 15 years.
The new laws build on rules made after Russia deployed troops to Ukraine and Kremlin Opponents say it was designed to criminalize criticism of the conflict.
The lower house of parliament on Tuesday green-lighted prison time of up to 15 years for criticism of “volunteer groups” such as the Wagner group and individuals fighting with the Russian military.
mercenaries such as Wagner, which claim to be leading Moscow’s assault on a Ukrainian city Bakhmuthas gained a greater public profile in recent months.
“To this day, those who risk their lives to keep our country and our citizens safe are safe from provocations and lies,” said Vyacheslav VolodinSpeaker of the lower house of Russia.
“These actions are unacceptable,” he added in the statement.
The bill is expected to be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.
Lawmakers also tightened penalties related to existing laws introduced after February 24, when the Kremlin deployed troops to Ukraine.
“Defaming” Russian soldiers or “volunteers” fighting alongside regular troops would be punishable by up to seven years in prison, up from five years earlier.
According to the lawmakers’ decision, the maximum term for spreading “false information” about Russia’s military is 15 years in prison.
The law was approved, although serving as a mercenary is illegal in Russia.


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