Russian Parliament Rams Through Tough Protest Bill

The Russian parliament has passed a packet of amendments to the laws governing rallies, protests, and other demonstrations that raises the current maximum fine to 300 thousand rubles – about 9,280 USD. In a rare case of filibustering, deputies not from the ruling United Russia party insisted on reading off each of the approximately 500 amendments in full, hoping to delay United Russia’s attempt to fast-track the legislation. As the Guardian explains:

The upper chamber of Russia’s parliament has voted 132-1 to approve a bill that raises fines 150-fold for people taking part in unsanctioned rallies. The much-debated legislation now needs only the president’s signature to become law.

The Federation Council voted after a short debate, in contrast to the lower house, where MPs discussed it for 11 hours before the pro-Kremlin United Russia rammed it through at midnight.

The opposition factions in the Duma put forward several hundred amendments in an unprecedented attempt to stymie the bill’s passage, reflecting a new willingness to stand up to the Kremlin.

The bill raises fines from the current 2,000 rubles (£40) to 300,000 rubles (£5,970). The legislation has been seen as a response to a series of anti-government protests and aimed at discouraging further street protests challenging Vladimir Putin. has created a helpful infographic for understanding the voting process; we’ve translated it here:

Infographic on State Duma voting on anti-protest bill. Source: