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Russia's State Duma adopts bill on property seizure for 'discrediting' Russian military

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 31, 2024 2:00 PM 1 min read
The Russian national flag flies atop the Russian State Duma, the nation's lower house of parliament, July 14, 2023. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)
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The State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, adopted in its third and final reading the bill on confiscation of property for "discrediting the Russian military," the Duma's press service reported on Jan. 31.

The bill, first introduced in the parliament on Jan. 22, would allow Russian authorities to seize the property of even those Russian citizens who criticized the Kremlin and have left the country but, for instance, still benefit from renting out their houses or apartments in Russia.

In March 2022, Russia criminalized statements or acts considered as "discrediting" or dissemination of "unreliable information" about the Russian military, broadly seen as a means to crack down on domestic anti-war opposition.

The bill on the confiscation of property was supported by 377 lawmakers, with no one speaking out against it, the BBC reported.

State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said the measures included in the bill serve to protect "soldiers and the country" from "scoundrels" and "traitors."

"This decision will make it possible to punish those who carry out activities against their country, to deprive these scoundrels of honorary titles, as well as confiscate their property, money, and other valuables," Volodin said.

According to Russian law, after a bill is adopted by the Duma, it must also be approved by the Federation Council – the upper chamber of the Russian parliament – and by the Russian president.

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