Russian President Vladimir Putin’s opponents warned on Wednesday that their protest movement could become more radical after parliament approved a law increasing fines on protesters who violate public order…
Putin has said that Russia needs new regulations on protests and earlier this week defended tougher rules governing protests as being in line with European norms.
The bill now needs only his signature to become law and the opposition expects it to be in force by Tuesday, a public holiday when new demonstrations are planned.
“Criticism of the authorities is becoming the main crime in our country,” Gennady Gudkov, an opposition member of the lower house of parliament, told Reuters. “This is a draconian law.”
“That the authorities are in a hurry, that they are doing everything at lightning speed, points to their key priority … to suppress dissent and put pressure on peaceful protests,” he said.