- In July 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved amendments to the 2012 ‘Foreign Agents Law’, which has been widely used to repress opponents of the regime. The new measures are scheduled to come into force on 01 December 2022.
- The 2012 law defined ‘foreign agents’ as individuals or organisations who have received financial support from abroad. The amendments will extend the definition to those which are merely under undefined ‘influence or pressure’ of foreign actors.
- The Ministry of Justice will also have the power to publish the personal details and addresses of designated ‘foreign agents’, almost certainly placing them at risk of harassment.
- The new laws will further extend the repressive powers available to the Russian state. This continues a trend since Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, but which has dramatically accelerated since the invasion of Ukraine.
- The Kremlin is likely acting pre-emptively to prevent greater domestic dissent as the conflict remains unresolved and increasingly impacts Russians’ everyday lives.
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