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Climate Activist Arshak Makichyan Stripped of Russian Citizenship

Arshak Makichyan. goethe.de

Russia stripped prominent climate activist Arshak Makichyan of his Russian citizenship Monday, according to a post on his Instagram page.

"The Russian state has deprived me of my only citizenship," the activist, who is currently living in exile in Germany, wrote on Monday. 

Known as Russia’s "lone climate activist" for his solo protests on Moscow’s Pushkin Square, Makichyan has in recent months also become one of the most vocal critics of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  

The decision to revoke his citizenship follows a court ruling last week that Makichyan had provided false information about himself when applying for his Russian citizenship in 2004, despite being just 10 years old at the time. 

Born to Armenian parents who fled the Karabakh war in the 1990s, Makichyan nevertheless has no other citizenship and said in a graphic posted to Instagram that the ruling now leaves him stateless.

Makichyan and his wife were forced to flee Russia amid crackdowns on anti-war voices.

The decision to strip a Russian citizen of their nationality marks a new low for Russia’s authorities, according to Makichyan and his lawyers, who claim the move is a deliberate attempt to silence Kremlin critics.

"It will be a long time before we all have to make sense of this new tool of repression against activists and minorities in Russia," Makichyan wrote Monday. 

"This case is against the entire multiethnic Russia we have been living in for the last 30 years," he added. 

Despite the ruling, Makichyan showed no signs of letting up in his opposition to the Kremlin, calling on his supporters to resist the war and oppose President Putin’s rule. 

"Let’s fight together for a country that will be a place for us all, not just for bloodthirsty murderers who belong in prison."

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