The Russian Duma works to toughen prison sentences for spreading “false news” about the Russian Armed Forces

Archive image of Russian soldiers in northern Crimea.

Archive image of Russian soldiers in northern Crimea. -Konstantin Mihalchevskiy/Sputnik

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MADRID, March 2. (Royals Blue) –

The Lower House of the Russian Parliament, the State Duma, announced on Wednesday the presentation of a series of amendments to the Criminal Code to toughen the penalties for spreading “false information” about the activities of the Armed Forces.

The head of the Security and Anti-Corruption Committee of the State Duma, the deputy of United Russia Vasili Piskarev, explained this Wednesday before the media that since they are modifications to a law already in force, these amendments can be adopted immediately as long as they pass control of the Duma.

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Said modification contemplates extending prison sentences, with a maximum of up to fifteen years, “for the deliberately false dissemination of information” about the activities of the Armed Forces “during the performance of their functions to protect citizens and the State,” reports Interfax agency.

Thus, the minimum sentence would be three years in prison. In case of disseminating such disinformation through social networks and the Internet, the penalty could be between five and ten years, while if the content “has had socially dangerous consequences”, it can mean up to 15 years in prison.

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Piskarev has justified the inclusion of this new article in the Russian Penal Code due to the “large amount of disinformation” with which he would be trying to discredit the Russian Army due to the conflict in Ukraine.

“We have a loophole in the law and it is being eliminated. These facts must be the object of a criminal investigation, and those who incur in disinformation must be sanctioned and in the most severe way”, said Piskarev, who has remarked that “the war ideology is no less destructive than war with weapons”.

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