A close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday proposed confiscating the property of Russians who have fled the country and “insulted” the state and its military while abroad.
The proposal by the Speaker of the Russian Parliament Vyacheslav Volodin was clearly aimed at members of the opposition who denounced the war in Ukraine after fleeing the country to avoid arrest. Many of them have already been described in Russia as “foreign agents”.
“Recently, some of our compatriots have been of the opinion that it is possible to insult Russia, its people, its soldiers and officers, and openly support the villains, Nazis and murderers,” Volodin said.
Volodin added that the current legal responses to countering extremism, “Nazism” or defamation of the armed forces, which in Russia are punishable by fines and imprisonment, they are not enough to deal with “unscrupulous” residents abroad.
“They are abroad, renting real estate and continue to receive money at the expense of Russian citizens. At the same time, they allow themselves to pour dirt on Russia, insult our soldiers and officers. They feel that they will get away with it, they think that justice cannot reach them”.
He underlined that it is necessary to update the criminal law by adding an article on the confiscation of such people’s property to compensate for the damage they have caused. It is unclear if this measure will be presented to parliament, or when it will be.
The Kremlin is cautious
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov cautiously commented on Volodin’s proposals, saying it was a “very complex issue” and that Russian citizens should not be treated as enemies.
“Enemies are enemies and we must fight them, but others are our citizens and should remain our citizens,” Peskov told Russia’s TASS news agency.
Volodin (58 years old) has been the speaker of the Russian parliament since 2016 and in previously held a senior position in the presidential administration.
As a member of the Russian Security Council, Volodin communicates regularly with President Vladimir Putin. As president of the camera bottom of the Russian parliament, ensures that key Kremlin policies are approved in efficiently through the legislator, such as laws criminalizing war criticism or the annexation of regions of Ukraine.
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