Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday signed in law several bills on introducing criminal liability for discrediting all participants of Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine.
Previously, only public actions aimed at insulting the Russian armed forces were considered criminal offenses. The new bills extend the ban on public insult to volunteer formations, organizations, and persons who assist the Russian army in the military campaign that started last February.
According to the new legislation, an offender will first be given penalties worth 30,000-500,000 rubles (some $400-6,700), depending on the severity of the insult. If the offense is repeated within a year, the lawbreaker could face a prison term of up to five years.
However, in case the actions led to death or mass riots, the criminal offense will be punished by incarceration for up to seven years.
The bill also extends the ban on spreading fake news about volunteer formations, the crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Putin also approved a bill under which the Ukrainian citizenship of a Russian national is considered terminated from the date a person filed a withdrawal application with the Interior Ministry.
He also completed the process of ratification of the agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan on taking into account work experience, obtained in both countries, when deciding on retirement pensions.
Putin also signed a bill prohibiting the illegal export and the transfer of military goods, technologies or weapons from Russia to foreigners. The violation of the law may lead to 12 years in prison.