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In First, Russia Strips Citizenship From 2 Men Over Draft Dodging

Russian military conscripts. Denis Grishkin / Moskva News Agency

A court in Russia's Ural Mountains has stripped two naturalized citizens of their Russian passports for draft dodging, the Interior Ministry said Friday, marking the first such case since new legislation legalizing denaturalization came into force.

The unidentified 21-year-old and 24-year-old men were required to report to a military enlistment office within 14 days after obtaining their Russian passports, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

“However, it turned out that when applying for Russian citizenship, the young men provided deliberately false information to avoid military service,” it added.

The Central District Court in the city of Chelyabinsk ruled to revoke the men's Russian citizenship, while the Chelyabinsk Regional Court struck down an appeal they had made.

The two men must now leave Russia or face deportation.

According to the Chelyabinsk region's migration chief Yelena Dovbenko, the pair are brothers who come from an unspecified ex-Soviet republic, the state-run Interfax agency reported.

Amendments to Russia's citizenship laws came into effect in October and list more than 60 crimes as grounds for losing citizenship.

On Wednesday, a Moscow court stripped two other naturalized Russians of their citizenship after finding them guilty on drug charges.

Moscow’s Investigative Committee said Thursday that it had asked the Interior Ministry to consider denaturalizing seven other Russian citizens convicted of drug, rape and terrorism, as well as draft dodging.

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