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Russian Blogger Charged With Insulting Authorities For Post Mocking Putin

A Russian blogger who posted a meme mocking President Vladimir Putin has been charged under a controversial new law penalizing "disrespect toward the authorities."

Sergei Komandirov, a blogger in the western city of Smolensk, posted a photograph of Putin and a verse that read "Every citizen knows who is D[...]ck No. 1."

Komandirov's post was a form of protest over the conviction of Yury Kartyzhev, a man in the northwestern region of Novgorod who was the first person to be found guilty under the new law.

Kartyzhev was fined 30,000 rubles ($470) for two posts mocking Putin on March 31, two days after the law came into effect.

Under the law, insulting the authorities or state symbols is punishable by up to 15 days in jail and by a fine of up to 100,000 rubles ($1,570). A repeat violation may lead to a 200,000-ruble ($3,140) fine.

On May 27, a key aide of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, Leonid Volkov, who is serving a 20-day jail sentence over an unsanctioned rally in September 2018, was charged with disrespect of the authorities for criticizing Kartyzhev's conviction on Twitter.

Komandirov also posted a comment that read: "Check it out, they will not convict you, they do not have guts to convict everyone. Therefore, go and flash-mob."

With reporting by Mediazona and 7x7