Vyacheslav Volodin, the head of Russia's parliament, wants to expropriate war opponents and state enemies. A related bill will be introduced in the State Duma this Monday, said Volodin, a loyal follower of Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
The chairman of the Duma wrote that it was necessary to punish “all the scoundrels who throw dirt on our country, as well as soldiers and officers who participate in special military operations.” Military Special Operations is the official Russian name for Putin's war of aggression against Ukraine.
The law makes it possible to confiscate “money, valuables and other assets used or intended to finance criminal acts against the security of the Russian Federation.” Volodin listed eight crimes leading to the acquisition of victims, including soliciting and supporting sanctions against Russia.
During the attack on Ukraine, Russia passed several laws to punish opponents of the war, for example to defame the military. Now there is also the threat of asset confiscation. Anyone supporting international organizations of which Russia is not a member, or foreign officials, should expect expropriation in the future.
“Anyone who tries to destroy Russia, even if he commits treason, must receive the punishment he deserves and compensate the damage done to the country with his own wealth,” Volodin said. This means that fleeing government opponents are also threatened with confiscation of property left behind in Russia.
Volodin specifically mentioned the artists who moved away from Russia and supported Ukraine because of the war. The law must pass three readings in the Duma and then in the Federation Council (upper house) until signed by Kremlin President Putin. Volodin's initiatives are generally waved off by all the authorities.
Since the Russian war of aggression began on February 24, 2022, hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes. Many celebrities from abroad are critical of Putin and his war. There is a long-standing debate in Russia about how the judiciary can still prosecute these citizens, as they cannot be imprisoned in a camp.
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