The Kremlin Steps Up From Internal Repression

The Russian parliament has passed a law that increases the approach to potential opponents and critics. The new legislation expands the definition of treason and places additional restrictions on “foreign agents” – a label used to silence critics and independent voices.

Loyalists of President Vladimir Putin are also targeted. For example, economist Vladimir Mao, who in March expressed support for a “special military operation” in Ukraine, was placed under house arrest for involvement in corruption. He described the accusation as absurd. Thousands of Russians have already been arrested for speaking out against the invasion. Another bill aims to limit the dissemination of information that could be useful to “unfriendly nations”.

Compulsory overtime

“There is a clear trend towards an escalation of repression,” said Denis Volkov, head of the Levada polling agency, which was also described as a “foreign agent.” According to him, Putin still enjoys wide support for such measures, especially from the less educated and poorer sections of the population.

The Russian parliament also approved the introduction of “special economic measures” in first reading. “In the context of Russian military operations outside Russia, including the territory of Ukraine, there is a need to restore weapons and military equipment and provide the army with the necessary material and technical resources,” the explanation accompanying the law reads. For example, after the final approval of the law, companies could be obligated to supply the military with goods. Employees may be required to work overtime. (Bloomberg, Reuters)

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Denton Watson

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