Russia: Soldiers’ wives now classified as enemies of the state

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Moscow. The organization campaigning for the return of soldiers from Ukraine has been added to the list of “foreign agents”.

Russia has it Women’s organization “Put Domoi”which advocates the return of Russian soldiers deployed from Ukraine, as “foreign agents” classified. The Ministry of Justice in Moscow explained on Friday that the movement worked to convey a “negative image” of Russia and the Russian army and called for illegal protests. At the same time, Moscow placed politician Yekaterina Duntsova and independent media outlet Sota on the list of “foreign agents”.

Women protest in Red Square

The wives and partners of soldiers deployed to Ukraine demonstrated as part of the women’s organization “Put Domoi” (Russian: “Way Home”) in rare protests in Moscow’s Red Square earlier this year for the return of their family members. . At the time, the organization used online networks to call for protests in several Russian cities. Women gathered regularly for weeks at the Kremlin wall and symbolically laid flowers at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Read too: Women fight fearlessly against Putin’s despotic regime

Although authorities have taken increased measures against dissidents since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine in February 2022, police have not yet intervened in women’s protests – apparently authorities wanted to prevent further unrest by arresting women.

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Yelena Duntsova, on the other hand, is an independent local politician who tried to run against President Vladimir Putin in the March presidential election. During the election campaign, she campaigned, among other things, to end the offensive in Ukraine. As a “foreign agent”, she can no longer run for public office. However, she will not give up on her efforts to found a political party, Duntsowa said on Friday. Now it will just be “a little more difficult to express yourself.”

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Members of the Wagner mercenary troop in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don (file photo).

Moscow justified the action against Sota, one of the few independent media projects in Russia, saying that the outlet criticized the offensive in Ukraine. Furthermore, its employees included “foreign agents” residing abroad.

The law mainly serves to silence critics

Hundreds of people, including human rights activists, opposition figures and independent journalists, and numerous organizations have been classified as “foreign agents” in Russia in recent years. This results in strict requirements for those affected. Among other things, they must disclose their sources of financing. They are also required to properly label their posts. This also applies to entries in online networks

In Georgia

The Russia-friendly parliament passed a similar law.

With EU and Georgian flags: people protest against the controversial law in Tbilisi.

With EU and Georgian flags: people protest against the controversial law in Tbilisi.
© Zurab Tsertsvadze/AP/dpa

Protesters gather in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi.

Protesters gather in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi.
© Zurab Tsertsvadze/AP/dpa

Hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated against it in recent weeks. They see this as an attempt by parties loyal to Russia to silence Western-oriented critics.

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dpatopbilder - May 14, 2024, Georgia, Tbilisi: Protesters take part in an opposition demonstration against the “Russian law” near the parliament building.  Accompanied by protests, the Georgian parliament began passing a controversial law aimed at reducing foreign influence in civil society.  Photo: Shakh Aivazov/AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

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