In 2020, many things were banned in Russia again. Here is a list of Bonus – what and to whom, on the contrary, was allowed

The main events of 2020 are the coronavirus epidemic, and in Russia there is also the adoption of amendments to the Constitution. Both gave the authorities the opportunity to introduce many new bans. Some of them relate to behavior in an emergency, but others will obviously be used against the opposition in the elections to the State Duma in 2021. Here is a list of the top new bans and penalties for breaking them.

  • The authorities decided to punish for failure to comply with their established rules of conduct in an emergency. Up to 50 thousand rubles for citizens, up to 1 million rubles for legal entities.
  • Fines for quarantine violators have appeared. Up to 300 thousand rubles for citizens and up to 1 million rubles for legal entities.
  • The punishment for officials for violation of sanitary and epidemiological rules was toughened – up to seven years in prison.
  • Spreading fakes about the coronavirus has become a criminal offense. The maximum possible punishment is five years in prison.
  • Legal entities cannot be held criminally liable, so for them the spread of such fakes can result in a fine of up to 10 million rubles.


  • Some articles of the Criminal Code and the Administrative Offenses Code related to violations of the electoral process included the concept of “all-Russian voting” – a procedure that was used to legitimize amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. For example, for falsifying the results of such a vote, the guilty person can be punished by four years in prison (just like regular elections and referendums). But it is unclear whether this norm will ever be used in the future.
  • The authorities have forbidden to violate the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. Alienation of a part of the territory of Russia can now take a period of 6 to 10 years.
  • At the same time, fines for public appeals to violate the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation were increased to 400 thousand rubles in the Criminal Code.
  • But now, for such appeals, they will first be brought to administrative responsibility, and only for a repeated violation – to criminal responsibility. A new article in the Code of Administrative Offenses allows citizens to be fined up to 100 thousand rubles.
  • The authorities banned the destruction or damage of military graves, monuments, steles, obelisks and other memorial structures erected in memory of those killed “in the defense of the Fatherland or its interests” or dedicated to the days of Russia’s military glory. The corresponding crime can result in a fine of up to five million rubles or imprisonment for up to five years.
  • Now it is impossible to bribe an arbitrator and an arbitrator. And they, accordingly, were forbidden to take bribes. The punishment for a bribe-taker can be 12 years in prison with a fine of up to 50 times the amount of bribery, for a bribe-giver – up to eight years in prison with a fine of up to 40 times the amount of bribery.
  • In Russia, it was explicitly forbidden to take and give bribes with cryptocurrency. Officials will be required to report such assets in annual returns.
  • At the same time, familiar cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cannot be used to pay for goods or services. The authorities even forbade mentioning that such a cryptocurrency can be used to pay for something somewhere.
  • Smoking hookahs, vapes and electronic cigarettes has been banned in public places. They were equated to regular cigarettes. The fine for citizens will be up to 1,500 rubles.
  • It is forbidden to run for any elective office convicted under the article for repeated violation of the rules for holding a rally. Ildar Dadin was the first to be convicted under this article.
  • It is forbidden to run for any elective office for those convicted under the article for public appeals to carry out extremist activities using the Internet or the media. In particular, Yegor Zhukov was convicted under this article.

Some laws were adopted by parliament, it remains for the president to sign them

  • Foreign and anonymous financing of public shares will be prohibited.
  • Journalists will not be allowed to simultaneously participate in public actions and cover them. A journalist covering a public action will be prohibited from hiding the “sign of a media representative”. This “sign” is to be established by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
  • A public event will be able to recognize a queue for a single picket or other “mass simultaneous stay or movement of citizens in public places.”
  • It will be forbidden to block transport. Violators can face up to 10 years in prison.
  • Social networks will have to independently search and block illegal information.
  • For refusal to delete information prohibited in the Russian Federation, Internet resources can be fined up to 20% of their proceeds.
  • Roskomnadzor will be able to block websites for “discrimination” or “censorship” of the Russian media.
  • For libel in the media or on the Internet, you can get a real term – up to two years in prison.
  • A public association without forming a legal entity can now be recognized as a “foreign agent”.
  • A much larger number of civil society activists can be classified as “foreign agents.” They will not be able to be appointed to positions in state bodies and local governments. Under the threat of punishment (up to criminal), they will have to proactively register as “foreign agents.”

Bonus: some bans have been lifted

  • Nazi paraphernalia and symbols were allowed to be manufactured, sold, acquired and publicly displayed. 
  • The SVR and FSB officers were allowed to have a second citizenship or a residence permit, if this is “due to the solution of tasks of operational and service and intelligence activities.”
  • Former Russian presidents can commit some criminal offenses with impunity. Their inviolability is no longer limited to acts committed in the office of the head of state.
  • (C)MEDUZA 2020


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