The founder of Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin appealed to State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin with a request to ban the discrediting of volunteers participating in the SVO, including former convicts. Amendments are proposed to be made to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, should from a letter from Prigozhin, published by his press service.
“The whole country is proud of its defenders, but there are separate media outlets, bloggers and telegram channels that openly discredit volunteers. <...> Such a practice must be severely suppressed in order to consolidate our society in confronting external threats to Russia, ”the letter says.
Prigozhin noted that a number of media and TV channels deliberately publish negative information about volunteers, including former convicts, in order to put them in an unsightly light and present them as "villains and criminals." At the same time, the founder of Wagner emphasizes, the participants in the special operation “risk their lives daily and die for their Motherland.”
According to Prigozhin, such media outlets “help the enemies of the state” with their activities.
In March 2022, the State Duma adopted amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on fakes about the military, as well as on discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The maximum penalty for violation of Art. 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (fakes about the army) is 15 years in prison. According to Art. 280.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation), the perpetrators face up to 5 years in prison.