Russia approves law to seize assets of critics of war on Ukraine

Russian lawmakers voted to allow the state to confiscate the property of people who criticise the invasion of Ukraine, intensifying the Kremlin’s crackdown on dissent against President Vladimir Putin.

The legislation that State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, a close Putin ally, dubbed the “law on scoundrels,” was unanimously approved by lawmakers in the lower house of parliament. The law will permit the seizure of property, money and other valuables of those convicted of spreading “fake news” about the Russian military.

The measure adds to a law passed shortly after the February 2022 invasion that imposed prison terms and fines for “discrediting” the Russian army. Opponents of the war have been jailed or have fled into exile amid the harshest repression since the Soviet era in Russia.

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The legislation still needs to be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed by Putin to become law.

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