President Putin of Russia Signs Expanded 'Foreign Agents' Law

Dr. E.C. Beuck
President Vladimir Putin of via The Moscow Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law on July 14th legislation that expanded the "foreign agent" label to cover anyone deemed by the Russian government as having fallen under "foreign influence." Going into effect on December 1, this new law essentially expands the definition of "foreign agents" to include any individuals or groups who take part in any activity that Russian authorities have determined goes against the national interests of the state, or who receive support of any kind from abroad.

Each of these individuals and groups will be added to Russia's registry of "foreign agents," while individuals and groups who have simply worked with, or received funding from, those listed as "foreign agents" will be added to a new Justice Ministry list that deals with those "affiliated with foreign agents." In addition, the law opens the way for the Russian state's communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, to block any "foreign agent" websites at the request of the Justice Ministry without going through the process of attaining a court order. Lastly, and perhaps most significant for many of these individuals and groups, is that they will be banned from receiving state funding, from teaching at state universities in Russia, and from working with children.

This is but the latest effort by President Putin and the Russian regime to crack down on potential dissidence in the general population following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Previous efforts include increasing prison terms for those engaged in anti-war protests, crackdown on independent journalism and media, and the use of mass arrests to stifle public criticism of the regime and the invasion of Ukraine. So long as Russia continues its war against Ukraine, its likely additional efforts by President Putin and the Russian regime to limit criticism of the war will continue to occur.

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Holding a PhD in Political Science, I write about current events and on political topics related to international relations, international law, conflict both between and within states, and the interactions between technology and politics.

Washington, DC

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