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Insulting Putin May Now Land You in Jail Under a New Russian Law

  • President signs laws against ‘fake news,’ disrespect of state
  • Offenders face fines, possible prison term under crackdown
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir PutinPhotographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

President Vladimir Putin signed laws punishing online media and individuals for spreading “fake news” or material that’s considered insulting to Russian officials.

Prosecutors can now complain about online publications to the state communications watchdog, which has powers to block access to the websites if their owners fail to remove the material promptly. Publications found guilty of spreading “unreliable socially significant information” may face fines of as much as 1.5 million rubles ($23,000).