Putin Says Legal Initiative to Counter Nazism Timely

MOSCOW, July 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that an initiative to establish a legal basis for countering Nazi ideology is well-timed.

“I consider the initiative to define a legal basis for countering a surge of nationalism and glorification of Nazi criminals timely,” Putin said at a meeting of the Presidential Council for Interethnic Relations.

The Russian president stressed that in some countries neo-Nazi organizations are reviving and gaining ground in politics. According to Putin, ethnic and religious intolerance and calls for violence are turning into slogans for groups striving for power.

On May 5, Putin signed a bill introducing a punishment of up to five years in jail for the rehabilitation of Nazism, denying facts established by the Nuremberg trials and dissemination of false information about the Soviet Union’s activities during World War II.

The measure also stipulates a fine of up to 300,000 rubles ($8,400) or up to a year of community service for desecrating symbols of Russian military glory.

A bill that equates symbols of organizations that cooperated with fascists, including Bandera insignia, to Nazi symbols is currently under consideration in Russia’s parliament.

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