Russia: Criticizing armed groups such as Wagner become a punishable act according to Russian law

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Russian lawmakers voted Tuesday on a text punishable by long prison terms for defaming militant groups such as Wagner, a measure already in place with regard to the Russian military and aimed at cracking down on critics of the attack in Ukraine.

The criminal indictment that punishes defaming the reputation of the Russian forces extends to volunteer formations, organizations and people who help the armed forces to carry out their mission, according to the Russian State Duma on its official website.

Russian State Duma Speaker, Vyacheslav Volodin, considered that all those who risk their lives today to ensure the security of the country and citizens are protected from provocations and lies, noting that the penalties will be severe, up to 15 years in prison.

Special armed groups take part in the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

The Wagner Group, which recruited its members from Russian prisons, is launching an attack in Bakhmut, the hot front in eastern Ukraine.

Following the start of its offensive in Ukraine, Russia imposed a series of criminal sanctions to suppress any form of criticism of the military.

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