Russians face 5 years in prison for ‘Russophobia’
In Russia, manifestations of “Russophobia” will be punishable by imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to 300,000 zlotys. rubles.
The relevant bill is being prepared by deputies of the State Duma, writes “Uklad”, citing one of its authors from the LDPR party.
Changes regarding responsibility for “Russophobia” may appear in Art. 280 of the Penal Code (“public incitement to extremist activity”) or in Art. 136 of the Penal Code (“violation of equality of rights and freedoms of man and citizen”).
The Kremlin conceptually supported the idea of a new punishment for Russians, says a source close to the presidential administration. According to him, the new norm in the Penal Code will be an “ideological article”. “You see, if you do not fall into heresy, this phrase can be used very conveniently,” the source explained.
He added that with its help it will be possible to bring “unreliable people” to justice. The interlocutor also admitted that the wording in the act would be “ambiguous enough” that it could be applied to “whoever is needed”.
The authors of the act themselves call the formulation of its main difficulty. According to one of them, the concept of “Russophobia” will cover the statements and actions of some “foreign agents”, as well as people in general who allow themselves to openly support Ukraine’s victory over Russia in the war.
Pressure on Russians to discredit Russian authorities, such as demanding to speak out against the war in order to participate in international competitions, will also be considered “Russophobia,” the source said.
In addition, MPs propose to classify actions and statements that threaten national security as “Russophobia”. As an example of such actions, one of the sources cited the decision of the International Criminal Court, which issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Andrey Loginov, the head of the Ministry of Justice, spoke about the need to supplement the Criminal Code with a punishment for “Russophobia”. “It is necessary to consolidate the concept of “Russophobia” in the legislation, introduce responsibility for “Russophobic activities” and create a mechanism to prevent information hostile to Russia,” Loginov said at the meeting of the International Legal Forum “Russophobia” in St. Petersburg: Nazism of the 21st century.
At the same time, the Russian authorities refer to various phenomena as “Russophobia”, ranging from the expulsion of Russian students in EU countries to individual statements by public figures. During a May 9 speech in Red Square, Putin said that “Russophobia” is the “ideology of superiority” of the “Western globalist elites” that “drive people and divide societies, provoke bloody conflicts and upheavals, and sow hatred.”