The Russian president has just signed a bill increasing the fine amount for “illegal” rallies 150 times, up from $70 to $9,000, like this artist protest march in Moscow earlier. It’s now a bit more expensive to be part of the opposition, even if you’re not torching cars or bombing city property. Combine that with Russia’s anti-blasphemy laws, and damn, it’s hard to make protest art.

Or, rather, it’s making it really easy to make protest art, as just walking outside in a ski mask and shouting “Holy Shit!” within the vicinity of a church might land you in jail for hate speech.

Putin argues that the stature which increases the same fine for officials from
$1,300 to $20,000 has been put in effect to “protect… the society as a whole from radicalism” and insure “the safety of non-protesting citizens.” What about the safety of those protesting citizens who got their heads bashed about by the police?

(Photo: Ilya Varlamov/LiveJournal)