Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the Week of Russian Business, an event organised by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), in Moscow, Russia March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
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Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday signed controversial legislation that allows courts to fine and briefly jail people for showing disrespect for authorities and block media for publishing "fake news".Putin signed off on the legislation against the advice of human rights activists, who warned the laws amounted to censorship and would be abused to crack down on freedom of speech.Rights activists say that since first becoming president in 2000, Putin has gradually crushed freedoms in Russia, muzzling critics and bringing television under control.
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