A new law that dramatically raises potential fines for people found guilty of participating in unsanctioned rallies has gone into effect in Russia.
The official "Rossiyskaya gazeta" newspaper on June 9 published the new law, thus bringing it into effect one day after President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial legislation into law.
The law can be used to hand fines of up to $9,000 to protesters participating in demonstrations that have not been given official approval.
Officials who participate in unsanctioned rallies may be fined double that amount.
Offenders may also be sentenced to perform community service.
The bill was hastily passed by both houses of parliament this week, ahead of June 12 Russia Day holiday which is expected to see massive opposition protests against Putin and his government.
Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS