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President Vladimir Putin has signed into law tough new fines for Russians who spread what the authorities regard as fake news or who show 'blatant disrespect' for the state online, an official portal for legal information showed on Monday.
Critics have warned that the legislation could create a mechanism for state censorship, but lawmakers say the new measures are needed to combat false news reports and abusive online comments.
Legislation - Grants - Authorities - Power - Websites
The legislation grants authorities the power to block websites if they fail to comply with requests to remove information that the state deems to be factually inaccurate.
Under the new law, individuals can be fined up to 400,000 roubles ($6,100) for circulating false information online that leads to a 'mass violation of public order.'
Laws - Day - Mr - Putin - Crimea
The new laws came on the same day as Mr Putin visited Crimea to mark the fifth anniversary of the peninsula's annexation from Ukraine.
The president led thousands to chant 'Russia' at the event, as Nato and the European Union again strongly condemned the land grab by Russia.
Concert - Crimea - Capital - Simferopol - Russian
Speaking at an outdoor concert in Crimea's regional capital of Simferopol, the Russian president hailed Crimea's residents, likening them to the Red Army soldiers of the Second World War.
'Russia has taken you into its fold with delight and joy,' he told the crowd. 'We will fulfil all of our goals ... because we are together now.'
Trip - Launch - Power - Plants
He began his trip by attending the launch of new power plants in...
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Is it real news?? or MSM news??