Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly set ‘to strip passports of citizens who criticise Russia’s war with Ukraine’ just days after the humiliating withdrawal of his troops from Kherson.
In March, the Russian parliament brought in laws that criminalised protesting the conflict in Ukraine and ‘discrediting’ Russia’s army. Those who disobeyed were told they could face up to 15 years in prison.
Now, Putin is reportedly proposing changes to a bill that will target non-birth citizens who acquired Russian passports during the occupation of the key southern city by Moscow forces.
Many Ukrainians were either forced or had no choice to switch their nationality due to Russian threats, the Kyiv Independent reports.
The actions that will be considered a crime are ‘discrediting the Russian army’, ‘spreading fake news’, and ‘participation in the activities of an undesirable organisation’, Russian independent media outlet Meduza reported, citing a Kremlin-run news agency.
The amendments were proposed to a bill that has only been passed through the first reading so far.
The potential enforcement comes two days after Russia’s embarrassing loss of Kherson after Kyiv forces recaptured the city,