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Vladimir Putin has signed into law a controversial amendment that decriminalises some forms of domestic violence.
From now on, beatings of spouses or children that result in bruising or bleeding but not broken bones are punishable by 15 days in prison or a fine, if they do not happen more than once a year. Previously, they carried a maximum jail sentence of two years.
Others claim the law is about protecting Russian traditions according to which the family is sacred. Priest Dmitry Smirnov, head of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchy’s commission on family matters, said on a television programme that the idea the state should be able to poke its nose into family affairs was a western imposition on Russia. “Some of the things happening in northern Europe now are such that even Hitler couldn’t have dreamed them up,” he said.