Support The Moscow Times!

Two More Russians Charged for ‘Disrespecting’ Putin Under New Law

Sergei Komandirov Vkontakte

An associate of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and a blogger from western Russia have become the latest individuals to be charged for online posts insulting President Vladimir Putin under a new law that bans “disrespect” toward authorities.

People who show “blatant disrespect” online for the state, the authorities, the public, the Russian flag or the constitution can be fined up to 100,000 rubles ($1,500) under the new law signed by Putin in March. Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to 15 days.

Authorities invoked the law twice on Monday to charge blogger Sergei Komandirov from western Russia and Navalny aide Leonid Volkov.

Volkov was reportedly charged for a tweet containing the words “Putin is an unbelievable dumb***,” with an attached video of a judge reading Russia’s first guilty verdict under the “disrespect” law.

Volkov is currently spending 20 days behind bars for organizing nationwide protests last year against an unpopular government decision to raise the pension age.

Meanwhile, Komandirov was charged for a rhyme under a social media post that authorities deemed insulting toward Putin, the news website 7x7 reported.

Read more

We need your help now more than ever.

Independent media outlets and journalists in Russia are being increasingly targeted with “foreign agent” and “undesirable” labels, threatening the existence of the free press day by day.

Your donation to The Moscow Times directly supports the last independent English-language news source within Russia.