People attend a pro-Ukrainian rally in Simferopol

On May 9, 2014, a new law takes effect in the Russian Federation that criminalizes public calls for violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, reports Ukrainska Pravda on March 24.

This law, which was approved in Russia late last year, would also include discussions on the status of Crimea since Russia now considers Crimea part of its territory.

The Federal Law of the Russian Federation No 433-FZ was passed by the State Duma of the Russian Federation on December 20, 2013, approved by the Federation Council on December 25, and signed by Russia’s president on December 28. It comes into force on May 9, 2014.

The law in the Criminal Code includes, as an amendment, Article 2801 on “Public calls to actions aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.”

Such calls dealing with “territorial integrity” will be punishable by fines of up to 300,000 rubles, or an amount equal to the wages or other income of the convicted person for a period up to 2 years, or by compulsory work equal to up to 300 hours, or by imprisonment for up to 3 years.

“The same acts committed with the use of mass media, including information-telecommunication networks (including the Internet), will be punishable by compulsory work of up to 480 hours or by imprisonment for up to 5 years,” the law states.

As widely reported, on March 18, after the illegitimate so-called “referendum” in Crimea, the illegal Crimean government signed an agreement with Vladimir Putin for Crimea to join the Russian Federation as an “independent republic.”

On March 21, the Federal Council of Russia ratified the treaty and annexed the peninsula to the Russian Federation.

Ukraine and most countries of the world do not recognize the “referendum” on incorporating Crimea into the Russian Federation. As a result, both Russia and Ukraine claim that Crimea belongs to their respective nations.

Crimean Tatars and other Ukrainian populations who do not wish to become citizens of Russia still remain in Crimea . According to the new law of the Russian Federation, they soon will be at risk of legal reprisals if they bring up the subject of Crimea’s affiliation.


Translated by Anna Mostovych

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