MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. The law on punishment for discrediting the armed forces and hindering their use was an urgent need amid the unprecedented information war against Russia, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Saturday.
"The law was passed and it must be enforced. Our parliament voted for it," Peskov said, when asked how Russians would be able to express their point of view that might be not identical to the official one.
"These are no easy times. The law was necessary in the light of an absolutely unprecedented campaign… not even a campaign, but an information war that has been unleashed against our country. In the context of this information war a proportionately harsh law was needed. And it was passed," he added.
The Kremlin official said that opinions could be expressed only within the framework of the law.
"It is possible to turn to lawyers regarding the law’s interpretation. In this particular case it can be said that the law has been passed and must be acted on," he concluded.
Russia’s Criminal Code was complemented by article 207.3 "Public dissemination of falsehoods about the use of Russia’s armed forces." It envisages a prison term of up to three years or a fine of 1.5 million rubles. Such a violation committed while performing official duties, for selfish reasons or out of political, ideological, racial, ethnic or religious hatred or hostility is punishable with a prison term of up to 10 years or a fine of up to 5 million rubles. If such a fake entailed grave effects, the prison term may range 10 to 15 years.