Putin wants to strip critics of Russian citizenship

“The president’s amendment is very significant and absolutely fair,” the head of the State Duma’s security committee, Vasiliy Piskaryev, told reporters, according to Interfax. “If the people who swore loyalty to Russia and promised to abide by our laws when they were granted citizenship violated this, then they have already voluntarily canceled the agreement with the state that provides them with protection and citizen’s rights, and this gives the state the right to cancel the decision on granting citizenship,” he added .

Paragraphs punishing “discrediting” the army or “spreading false information and lies” about the armed forces appeared in the Russian criminal code after the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. The authorities consider all criticism of the actions of the armed forces, mentions of war atrocities of which Russian soldiers are suspected, or even just anti-war slogans, to be “discredited” and “lies”. In addition to Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Russia in the spring of 2014, at the end of September, Putin tried to annex four other Ukrainian regions partially occupied by Russian troops to Russia, whose residents thus acquire Russian citizenship. The vast majority of countries in the world do not recognize these annexations.

Piskaryev noted that Russian authorities have so far banned 67 foreign “undesirable” organizations. “Actually, there are many more. These NGOs are actively involved in anti-Russian activities, including inciting hatred between nationalities and different religions. They interfere in elections, lead teenagers to use drugs and destructive activities, promote homosexuality and also collect money for the enemy,” said the deputy.

The Soviet Union already deprived its critics and dissidents of their citizenship.