Russian soldier
Russian soldieriStock

The Russian government increased its harassment of citizens who speak out against the ongoing war in Ukraine, cracking down on critics on Wednesday.

Authorities confirmed that a critic of the Ukraine invasion had their detention extended and charges were brought against two others, while the chief rabbi of Moscow, a fierce critic of the war, fled the country, the Associated Press reported.

Under a law adopted for the invasion of Ukraine, the spreading of supposedly false statements about the Russian military’s actions in Ukraine is punishable by a maximum 15 years in prison. According to human rights groups, there have been dozens of arrests under the new legislation.

In the most publicized case regarding the crackdown by authorities, a court in Moscow extended the detention until August 12 of government critic Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., a journalist who was a supporter of the late opposition leader Boris Nemtsov who was assassinated. Kara-Murza Jr. was accused by the government of publishing “false information” about the Russian military.