Putin signed a new rigorous law, the penalties go up to 20 years in prison

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Putin signed a new rigorous law, the penalties go up to 20 years in prison

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a law that provides for heavy prison sentences for anyone who calls for action against Russian security, another move by Moscow to silence any voice opposed to the military offensive in Ukraine.

Based on new provisions published on the portal that publishes documents signed by Putin, public calls by individuals to act against the security of the country will now be punished with two to four years in prison. The sentence can be increased to five years if the call is made through the media and to seven years if it is made by an organized group.

In addition, the Russian president signed a text on the tightening of restrictions imposed on individuals and organizations labeled as "foreign agencies", which is used to suppress criticism directed against the Kremlin.

The second measure foresees a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Another measure provides for up to 20 years in prison for any Russian citizen who takes part in a conflict in a foreign country that is against Russian interests.

Putin also signed a text on a fine, as well as a prison sentence of up to 7 years, for anyone who is familiar with state secrets and who leaves the country without prior approval. These documents are part of a group of laws that have been accepted by the parliament in recent weeks, and to enter into force, they only lacked the president's signature.

Since the beginning of the Russian military offensive against Ukraine on February 24, the Russian authorities have intensified their persecution of critics of the government by shutting down independent newspapers and social networks.

The law now punishes any form of criticism that tarnishes the reputation of the army with a heavy prison sentence. Several Russians, including opposition representatives Ilja Yashin and Vladimir Kara-Murza, as well as ordinary citizens, have already been imprisoned on such charges and are awaiting trial.

Moscow city councilor Alexei Gorinov was sentenced to seven years in prison last week for condemning aggression against Ukraine.