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Russian Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing Property Seizure From War Critics

The Russian State Duma.

Russian lawmakers on Wednesday passed a bill in its third and final reading that would allow authorities to confiscate the property of those convicted of “discrediting” and spreading “fakes” about the army. 

The bill, introduced into the lower-house State Duma last week, also proposes seizing money, property and other valuables from those found guilty of inciting “extremist” activity and calling for “anti-Russian” sanctions. 

Lawmakers voted 377-0 in favor of the bill on Wednesday, according to the parliament’s website.

“An absolute major thinks it's necessary to punish traitors who, while living abroad, sling mud at our country, soldiers and officers taking part in the ‘special military operation,’ and who support and finance the Nazi regime in Kyiv,” State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said after Wednesday’s vote. 

“The decision we’ve made will allow us to deprive these scoundrels of their honorary titles, as well as confiscate their property, money and other belongings,” he added. 

To become law, the bill must now be passed by the upper-house Federation Council, after which it will need to be signed off by President Vladimir Putin’.

Russian authorities outlawed criticism of the military shortly after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The charge of spreading “fakes” about the army carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 15 years and has been used by the authorities to stifle any form of dissent.

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