Russia overwhelmingly passes a set of laws punishing those who engage in “disrespecting” the leadership and spreading “fake news.”
President Vladimir Putin signed the bills into law on Monday, according to Russian reports.
News networks guilty of spreading “fake news” will face a fine of up to nearly $23,000.
Disrespecting Russian officials including Putin could yield a fine of almost $5,000 and 15 days behind bars.
Many criticize the new rules as censorship and a threat to free speech, but the Kremlin disputes these allegations calling them “necessary.”
The bills first passed The State Duma overwhelming last week during its first hearings.