‘They feel they have impunity, believing that justice cannot reach them’ – Putin’s ally suggests confiscating the property of Russians who have left the country and criticize Ukraine war

On Friday, January 13, a close supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed taking the property of citizens who have left the nation and who “insult” the government and its military forces from outside.

The lower chamber of parliament’s speaker, Vyacheslav Volodin, made the idea in response to opposition individuals that the Russian government has already labelled as “foreign agents.”

These individuals, who have criticised the Ukraine War after evading capture, ought to be dealt with, according to Volodin.

Volodin declared on Friday, January 13, that “recently, some of our fellow countrymen feel it possible to disrespect Russia, its residents, soldiers, and commanders, and openly embrace villains, Nazis, and murderers,” using the term “murderers” to describe to the forces that Moscow claims to be battling.

Their goal is clear – to curry favour and try to maintain their well-being abroad,” he wrote on his Telegram channel.

Volodin said the existing legal responses to combat extremism, “rehabilitation of Nazism” or discrediting the armed forces – which is already punishable in Russia with fines and jail terms – were not sufficient to deal with these foreign-based “reprobates”.

“While abroad, they rent out real estate and continue to receive payments at the expense of Russian citizens. At the same time, they allow themselves to publicly pour dirt on Russia, insult our soldiers and officers. They feel they have impunity, believing that justice cannot reach them,” he said.

”It is therefore necessary to update the criminal code with a clause on confiscating the property of such people to compensate for the damage they have done, he said. It was not clear whether such a measure might go before parliament, or how soon.

Volodin, 58, has been speaker of the lower house, the State Duma, since 2016, having previously held a senior role in the presidential administration.

As a member of Putin’s Security Council, he has regular access to the Russian leader. 

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