REUTERS — Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Monday making the denial of Nazi crimes and distortion of the Soviet Union’s role in the World War Two a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in jail.
The law, described by critics as an attempt to curb freedom of expression to appease conservative Russians, the ex-KGB spy’s main support base, also criminalises the public desecration of war memorials.
The Kremlin has used World War Two as a pillar to unite a society that Putin has said lost its moral bearings following the 1991 Soviet collapse.
It has become increasingly risky for Russians to dispute an official line that glorifies the wartime achievements of the Soviet leadership and plays down its errors. […]