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State Duma Considers Making Insulting Veterans a Crime

President Vladimir Putin greeting veterans at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow. Alexei Nikolsky / TASS

Russian lawmakers are seeking to criminalize insulting World War II veterans, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday.

Amendments to a bill on the protection of historical memory will be included in its second reading in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma. They come on the heels of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s conviction on defamation charges for calling a veteran a "traitor." 

  "We propose to classify public dissemination of deliberately false information about veterans of the Great Patriotic War as one of the forms of rehabilitation of Nazism,” said Irina Yarovaya, the Duma’s vice speaker and one of the authors of the amendments.

"No one will ever again be able to mock our veterans with impunity and defile the memory of the defenders of the fatherland,” she added. 

A Moscow court on Saturday ordered Navalny to pay a fine of 850,000 rubles ($11,500) for defaming the 94-year-old veteran who appeared in a pro-Kremlin video promoting constitutional reforms allowing President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036.

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