What you need to know about Russia’s updated ‘foreign agent’ laws

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On December 25, Russian senators approved a law that allows for ordinary citizens and informal organizations (ones not registered as legal entities) to be deemed “foreign agents” if they are involved in political activity in Russia and receive assistance from abroad. The new law refers to more than just financial assistance and offers a broad interpretation of what constitutes political activity. What’s more, potential foreign agents are responsible for registering their status themselves and, under yet another law, failure to do so can threaten not only a fine, but also up to five years in prison. Now, all that’s left is for Russian President Vladimir Putin to sign these new measures into law, which he undoubtedly will. Meduza breaks down why this new legislation puts almost everyone at risk of being labeled a foreign agent.



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