Changes to law in December to herald rise in Putin’s repression, UK intelligence says

30 November 2022, 02:01 PM
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin (Photo:Pool via REUTERS)

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin (Photo:Pool via REUTERS)

Changes to the Russian law on “foreign agents” that come into effect on Dec. 1 could usher in a new wave of Kremlin political repression, UK intelligence said on Twitter in its summary for Nov. 30.

The Russian law defines “foreign agents” as individuals or organizations that receive financial support from abroad. Dictator Vladimir Putin has used this law to repress his opponents in the past.

The amendments would expand the definition of “foreign agents” to include persons that the Kremlin claims to be under some unspecified form of foreign “influence or pressure.”

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The Russian Ministry of Justice will also have the right to publish the personal data and addresses of designated “foreign agents,” which almost certainly exposes them to risks of prosecution, the intelligence added.

The amendments will further expand the repressive powers of the Russian regime, UK intelligence added. This trend has persisted since Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, and accelerated sharply after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The Kremlin is likely acting pre-emptively to prevent greater domestic dissent as the conflict remains unresolved and increasingly impacts Russians’ daily lives,” UK intelligence said.

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