Yaroslavl resident who photographed and shared anti-Putin graffiti gets hit with 30,000-ruble fine

A Yaroslavl court fined Kirill Poputnikov 30,000 rubles ($461.55) under a 2019 law that bans insulting the government online, 76.ru reported. Poputnikov posted a photograph on Facebook that showed graffiti whose message can be translated as “Putin is a fag” on the façade of the local Internal Affairs Ministry building. Poputnikov said that his intent in photographing the graffiti was to attract attention to an act of vandalism. Human rights advocates have pointed to expert testimony disavowing any connection between Poputnikov’s case and the Russian president as evidence that Poputnikov could not have been insulting the government itself. A criminal vandalism case was also opened today in connection with the graffiti, which triggered the first ever legal proceedings under the online insults law earlier this year.