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Russian Law Proposed To Increase Fine For Illegal Public Gatherings

Russian riot police chase opposition supporters during an unsanctioned protest in Moscow on May 7.
Reacting to a wave of public protests against President Vladimir Putin's continued rule, lawmakers of the ruling United Russia party have presented legislation in parliament that would increase the fine for protesters who stage unapproved demonstrations.

The draft law unveiled on May 11 would boost the fine for holding unsanctioned public gatherings to up to 1.5 million rubles ($50,000).

Reports say a vote on the proposal could take place before the end of May.

Opposition activists have recently held a series of unsanctioned demonstrations in Moscow and other cities, protesting Putin's third term as president.

Police arrested more than 450 activists in Moscow on May 6.

Putin, who has led Russia as president or prime minister for the past 12 years, was sworn in as president on May 7.

Based on reports by ITAR-TASS and Interfax