Aside from being heralded as a grave affront to democratic freedoms in Russia, the new bill raising fines against violations during rallies has been branded by many as simply ludicrous and almost inevitably counter productive for the Putin regime. Thanks to the Washington Post for making clear just how definition-defyingly extreme this proposed change to legislation is, by a series of comparisons:
If, as expected, the bill becomes law, protesters whose rallies aren’t officially sanctioned will face fines of up to 300,000 rubles ($9,000), up from the current 2,000 ($60).
A sampling of other offenses and their maximum penalties under Russian law:
— Prostitution: A fine of 2,500 rubles ($75).
— Illegal use of an automobile: 120,000 rubles ($3,600).
— Nuclear materials storage violations: 5,000 rubles ($150) for regular citizens, 40,000 ($1,200) for public officials.
— Performing an abortion without medical qualification: 80,000 rubles ($2,400).
— Violating safety precautions in designing, building and using nuclear energy facilities that could cause danger or radioactive contagion: 200,000 rubles ($6,000).
— Organizing prostitution: 500,000 rubles ($15,000) or three years in prison.