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“Discrediting” the armed forces
Since the first mass public protests against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the state authorities have fought any forms of anti-war activity. Besides detaining street protesters, Putin’s regime bans any criticism of the armed forces, including making calls against the use of Russian military troops.
How does it work
Nearly any anti-war statement, delivered in public speech or even in private communication, can be qualified as “discrediting” the armed forces and punished with huge fines or prison sentences for up to 5 years.
The law, which introduces penalties for “discrediting” the Russian army, was adopted on 4 March 2022. By the end of September, the Russian authorities had opened more than 4,000 administrative cases, and nearly everyone involved had been found guilty.
The most common reasons for suspicion of discrediting the Russian Armed Forces are posts and comments on social media, but not only them.
What else “discredits” the armed force, according to Russian authorities:
- displaying the words “no to war” or “for peace” in public;
- wearing blue-and-yellow clothes matching the colours of the Ukrainian flag;
- playing a popular Ukrainian song at a wedding party;
- distributing free copies of George Orwell’s 1984 to passersby;
- standing next to a World War II memorial with a copy of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace in hand;
- expressing “silent support” for anti-war protesters.
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Our stand on the Russian invasion to Ukraine
Russia started the war against Ukraine. This war is happening from 2014. It has only intensified on February 24th 2022. Milions of Ukrainians are suffering. The perpetrators of this must be brought to justice for their crimes.
Russian regime tries to silence its liberal voices. Russian people against the war exist - and the Russian regime tries its best to silence them. We want to prevent that and make their voices heard.
Connection is crucial. The Russian liberal initiatives are hard to read for European public at times. The legal, social and historical context of Russia is not always clear. We want to share information, build bridges and connect the liberal Russia with The West.
We believe in dialogue, not isolation. The oppositional powers in Russia will not be able to change anything without the support of the democratic world. We also believe that the dialogue should go both ways.
The choice is yours. We understand the anger for the Russian crimes. It is up to you whether you want to listen to the Russian people standing against this.