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Zelensky: Russia wastes billions on lies and propaganda

Russia's leadership has spent billions of dollars on propaganda, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Moscow, 26 March 2022 (dpa/MIA) — Russia’s leadership has spent billions of dollars on propaganda, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“You all know exactly what an enormous state propaganda system Russia has built,” Zelensky said in a video message Friday night.

“Probably no one else in the world has spent such vast sums on lies.”

Moscow has however not taken into account that these efforts do not guarantee a result, he said.

“Where the path of lies must be paved with money, the result is not assured,” he said.

“The path of truth is difficult but the truth paves its own way.”

Russia had categorically rejected reports it planned to attack Ukraine for weeks in the run-up to its invasion of its neighbor.

Moscow has presented the war as “special military operation” to its own public.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed further legislation banning the dissemination of allegedly false news, Moscow media reported on Saturday.

The law penalizes “fake news” not only about the Russian military but also about state authorities active abroad.

The new law, published late on Friday, affects reporting on the work of state authorities, embassies or trade missions, where information seen as false by the Kremlin is published.

It provides for penalties between 700,000 roubles ($6,900) and 1.5 million roubles or prison terms of up to three years for the “public dissemination of deliberately false information under the pretext of true reports.”

The penalties are considerably higher for officials, with fines ranging from 3 million to 5 million roubles and terms of five to 10 years in penal colonies. Up to 15 years could be imposed in particularly serious cases.

Opponents have criticized the laws on the grounds that the decision on what news is true and what false is left to the authorities.

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