Kremlin trying to censor, persecute foreign organizations - ISW

Kremlin trying to censor, persecute foreign organizations - ISW

Moscow continues efforts to codify legal instruments and repressive measures intended to broadly censor foreigners and foreign organizations in Russia.

That’s according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank, Ukrinform saw.

Experts note that on June 11, the State Duma passed at first reading a draft law, designed to codify the Russian government’s ability to recognize "any" foreign organization as "undesirable". The Duma first approved the draft on May 27.

In addition, the report says, the Duma passed at first reading an additional draft law introducing criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for participation in "any" organization classified as "undesirable".

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According to State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin, the new draft law will fill a gap in the existing legislation, which allows only foreign non-governmental organizations to be classified as "undesirable".

"The new bill will extend the undesirable classification to any foreign and international organizations, thereby broadening the Kremlin's discretion to target and censor a wide range of foreign organizations operating within Russia," ISW believes.

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Analysts added that earlier, the Kremlin had already used the definition of "undesirable" to block the entry and activities of opposition media, public organizations, and human rights organizations in Russia.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on May 17, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office put Sota Media on the register of "undesirable organizations".

Photo: Sergey Alimov/GI

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