According to preliminary estimates, a total of 2,629 such crimes were reported last year, compared to the 1,674 and 1,256 crimes registered in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Among the offenses against politicians, insults are by far the leading, as 1,247 instances were recorded. They are followed by extortion and threats (403), instances of causing damage to property (228) and inciting ethnic hatred (212), the newspaper reported.
Commenting on the statistics, the interior ministry said that measures introduced by the authorities to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which are highly unpopular with the citizens, led to anti-government sentiments among them. The authorities linked 14 percent of crimes against politicians in 2020 — or 374 cases — to the pandemic and the government's handling of it.