Vladimir Putin's new decision: Seize property of Russian army critics | World News - Hindustan Times
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Vladimir Putin's new decision: Seize property of Russian army critics

Jan 24, 2024 07:30 PM IST

With the latest measure, there will be a further crackdown on dissent.

Russian lawmakers approved a bill which will allow authorities to confiscate money, property and valuables of anyone convicted of criticising the Russian army. Moscow has detained several critics of Russia's war on Ukraine as it made disparagement of its military illegal shortly after launching its assault on in February 2022. With the latest measure, there will be a further crackdown on dissent. This could also impact Russians who have fled the country.

Russian president Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting.(AFP)
Russian president Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting.(AFP)

The law, which has been passed by the lower house State Duma in its first reading, carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 15 years for spreading "false information" about the army. Speaker of Russia's Duma Vyacheslav Volodin told lawmakers that this punishment was "not enough" to deter the army's critics.

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"They live comfortably, renting out property, continuing to receive royalties at the expense of Russian citizens. They use these funds to support the Nazi regime," Vyacheslav Volodin said, adding, “The decision adopted should stop those who commit crimes against the security of our country, who consider it possible to insult our citizens, soldiers and officers, and who support the Nazis.”

What are the current laws?

Under current laws, information about the Ukraine war that does not come from an official government source can be deemed "false" and its dissemination liable to prosecution. Russian officials have been issuing calls to toughen the law, denouncing those who criticise the Kremlin's military assault as "traitors".

"We are showing good will that we are doing this only two years in," Andrei Lugovoy, a deputy from Russia's right-wing LDPR party, said.

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