Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting of the Federal Security Service (FSB) collegium in Moscow, Russia, February 28, 2023 (photo credit: SPUTNIK/GAVRIIL GRIGOROV/POOL VIA REUTERS)"/>
On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a measure that would make disparaging any participation in Ukraine's invasion a crime, according to Russian state-controlled TASS.
Formerly, it was illegal to criticize the Soviet military. The new legislation, however, would penalise any public activities against members of Special Military Operations (SVO) forces, including volunteer units.
The maximum penalty for criticizing the military has now been raised from five to seven years. The state will pursue prison punishment if the 'violator' has done comparable conduct within a twelve-month period.
Furthermore, the statute makes illegally accessing a governmental facility a criminal offense. The penalty for this is a 500,000 Russian ruble fine (about NIS 23,816 or $6,495), limitation of freedoms, or up to two years in jail.
In addition to the new law, Russia is anticipated to modify the age of its biannual military conscription.
According to the United Kingdom's defense ministry, the current draft age range is 18-27 years old and will most likely be raised to 21-30 years old. The move would imply that students may no longer cite additional education as a rationale to avoid serving in the military.
According to the UK, the aim for this shift is to boost the number of professional troops.
The ministry also says that hundreds of young men were forced to serve as a result of administrative failures or open pressure.
According to a letter from Russia's UN ambassador provided by foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow agreed to prolong the arrangement for only 60 days. Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced a 120-day extension.
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