Russia amends censorship laws to punish criticism of Wagner

Wagner group mercenaries

Russia has submitted new law amendments to the parliament that strengthen the country’s censorship laws and allow sentences of up to 15 years in prison for criticizing the armed services and volunteer military organizations like the Wagner Group.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, which is attempting to take over Bakhmut in Ukraine, expressed dissatisfaction in January about bloggers and social media outlets that slander his forces but cannot be prosecuted under current laws.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, said that “any public dissemination of knowingly false information about the forces” will be punishable, according to the amendments to the criminal code.

“As well as public actions aimed at discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, volunteer formations, organizations and persons who are facilitated in the implementation of tasks assigned to the … Armed Forces,” would be punishable, Volodin wrote on the Telegram messaging platform.


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