A Russian lawmaker has called for legal action against President Vladimir Putin for calling the conflict in Ukraine a “war” instead of using an official term coined by Moscow.

During a press conference on Thursday, Putin said Russia wants to “end this war” as soon as possible, referring to the fighting in Ukraine.

Officials in Moscow typically refer to the conflict as a “special military operation” in line with new legislation that criminalises what authorities deem to be misleading descriptions of Russia’s 10-month intervention.

“Vladimir Putin called the war a war but there was no decree to end the special military operation and no war was declared … I sent an appeal to the authorities so Putin can see justice for spreading ‘fake news’ about the army,” Nikita Yuferev, a lawmaker from Saint Petersburg, said on social media Thursday.

He posted images showing complaints addressed to Russia’s prosecutor-general and interior minister.

A court in Moscow this month sentenced opposition politician Ilya Yashin to eight-and-a-half-years in prison for spreading “false information” about Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, the highest-profile conviction under the new legislation.

Another Moscow councillor, Alexei Gorinov, was sentenced to seven years in prison in July for speaking out against the Ukraine offensive.





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