A Russian lawmaker intends to draft a bill introducing fines and community service for using the services of prostitutes. The existing draft suggests lighter punishment for single people and significantly harsher sanctions for married men and women.
Oleg Mikheyev of the center-left Fair Russia party wants to amend
the administrative code with a new article specifically
describing using sex services for money as an offence. The
proposed punishment varies depending from the marital status of
the offender – single people would have to pay between 1,500 and
2,000 rubles ($26-$35) in fines, but married clients, men and
women alike, would face either fines of between 2,000 and
5,000rubles ($35 – $88) or perform up to 40 hours of community
The proposed penalty is in the same range as the fines for
prostitution itself and Mikheyev said in press comments that one
of the reasons he wrote the bill was the desire to make the
conditions equal for the workers and clients in the sex industry.
Currently, prostitution in Russia is punishable by an
administrative fine of between 1,500 and 2,000 rubles ($26-$35)
and pimping (defined as receiving income from another person’s
work as a prostitute) can carry fines between 2,000 and 2,500
rubles ($35-$44) or up to 10 days of administrative detention.
In 2012, southern Russia’s Belgorod Region introduced a local law
ordering a fine of 5,000 rubles ($88) for people caught paying
for sex services.
Mikheyev said in comments that his suggestions would help to
combat prostitution more effectively than the existing norms as
they undermine the economics of the sex services sector. He also
pointed out that similar measures had worked in foreign
countries, for example in Sweden and Norway.
He also said that tougher punishment for married people was
caused by the fact that these people have more responsibilities
before the community.
“When a married man pays for sex he is committing a much more
serious offense – he hides money from the family budget and puts
his wife at risk of getting an STD,” he explained.
According to the head of the Russian ‘Vice Squad’ foundation,
Vladimir Zazhmilin, every third man in Russia has used
prostitutes’ services at least once.
Izvestia broke the story about Mikheyev’s bill the week after
Russian police raided the offices of the Flirt magazine – a free
glossy edition that specialized on advertising of dating
agencies. The chief editor and commercial director of the
magazine were detained and charged with organizing a prostitution
ring – a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in
prison. Both deny any involvement in criminal activities and said
that their work was only in the sphere of information and
In 2014, St. Petersburg city lawmaker Olga Galkina from the
pro-business party Civil Platform drafted a bill ordering fines
up to $2,400 for using sex services, but also proposing the
clients be allowed to escape the punishment if they marry the
prostitute. This bill did not make it through the city