Russia’s State Duma Took Measures to Neutralise Navalny’s Exploitation of Children

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The State Duma is toughening criminal responsibility for the organisers of unauthorised protest actions and rallies that involve minors. The relevant draft law was adopted at the first reading by 338 votes from the 416 deputies who were present.

According to the parliamentarian Evgeny Revenko, in recent years the non-systemic opposition in Russia more and more often uses the scenario used at Maidan revolutions and attract children to participate in events.

This is also confirmed by the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – during all of last year the police detained 475 minors for participating in unsanctioned rallies, and only in May of this year – 223 teenagers.

“Teenagers are now nearly their main audience and, for the lack of a better word, are expendable material. We consider that it is necessary to punish those who try to use children to achieve political and mercenary goals…

The organisers dream of provoking a Maidan by using children. I have already given an example at one rally. I will quote once again a fragment from the correspondence on the ‘Protest Moscow’ Telegram channel shortly before the rally on May 5th, 2018.

Here is what was pensively written by one of the activists, I quote: ‘Or at one of the rallies a cop kills a protester – it doesn’t matter if it’s a provocation or an accident, and that’s all, the news spreads, people will come out to the streets, and it is better if it’s a child who is killed,’ concludes one of the organisers of an unauthorised rally. This is transcendental cynicism, and I consider that we must stop it,” said Revenko.

The deputy emphasised that fines of 30,000-500,000 rubles, 100 hours mandatory work, or administrative detention for up to 15 days await violators of this law.

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He was supported by his colleague from the same faction Sergey Vostretsov, who suggested to stipulate in the law liability for parents too: “In Ukraine, where did it all begin? It began with children, therefore the law is correct, timely, but it seems to me that it is necessary to add amendments at the second reading in order to bring the parents to responsibility too, so that they understand and monitor their children – where they go and what they do, and monitor social networks, like all normal parents do today”.

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