The law was introduced at the request of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin. The Wagner Group is a paramilitary organization consisting mainly of mercenaries. Russia considers those mercenaries as volunteers. Prigozhin therefore wanted criticism of the members of the Wagner Group to be punishable as well. Putin has now responded.

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    Since the start of the war, several people who have criticized the war in Ukraine have been sentenced to prison. According to Russia, they have discredited the army or spread false news.

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