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Russian Amnesty Tied To Victory Day To Affect Up to 400,000

MOSCOW -- A senior Russian lawmaker says up to 400,000 people will be released, have suspended sentences voided, or have charges dropped under an amnesty timed to coincide with Victory Day celebrations next month marking the 70th anniversary of Nazi Germany's World War II defeat.

The chairman of the Legislation Committee in the State Duma, Pavel Krasheninnikov, said on April 20 that as many as 260,000 prison inmates and convicts with suspended sentences will be affected by the amnesty, as well as up to 140,000 Russians facing trial.

The Duma, the lower parliament house, is expected to discuss the planned amnesty proposal on April 22.

Krasheninnikov said that for the first time, single fathers and cancer patients will be included on the list of individuals to be amnestied.

Also, instead of the phrase "retired persons," the law will state that men 55 and older and women 50 and older fall under the amnesty.

Kremlin critics dismissed a December 2013 amnesty as a publicity stunt by President Vladimir Putin ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

With reporting by Interfax and TASS

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