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Russia’s “hooliganism” law could put the more than 13,000 anti-war protesters arrested throughout the country into jail for up to eight years.
The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation’s section on “hooliganism” states that it is “is defined as grave violation of public order, which expresses open disrespect to society.”
Rebekah Koffler, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told Fox News Digital that protesters would be charged with “hooliganism,” and said that they could face up to five to eight years in jail.
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As of Sunday, Russian authorities have arrested over 13,000 people at various anti-war protests throughout the country.
OVD-Info, an independent human rights project focused on political persecution in Russia, published the figure on Sunday.
The arrests come after Russia has increased its efforts at stifling any opposition to the government’s invasion of Ukraine, which included blocking several social media outlets within the country, such as Facebook and Twitter.
One anti-war activist in Russia, Tatyana Usmanova, asked Ukrainians for forgiveness after Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24, saying “our confrontation with these [Ukrainian] forces is inevitable.”
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“I want to ask Ukrainians for forgiveness. We didn’t vote for those who unleashed the war,” she said.
When asked if Russia would consider throwing thousands of protesters in jail for years, Koffler said yes.
“It’s Russia. They can do whatever you want. Stalin murdered like millions of people,” Koffler said.
Koffler said that the Russian security services are not only protecting Putin’s regime from foreign adversaries, but also from dissidents.
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“Any kind of dissent is being uncovered and suppressed immediately so that it doesn’t escalate into something that’s uncontrollable,” Koffler said.
She said that the anti-war protesters in Russia are taking a huge risk by attending demonstrations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law into place on Friday that would punish journalists with up to 15 years in prison if they report what authorities consider false information about the military.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report