Russian journalists, political scientist declared ‘foreign agents’

Russian journalists, political scientist declared ‘foreign agents’

Russian journalists, political scientist declared ‘foreign agents’

Russian journalists, political scientist declared ‘foreign agents’

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As part of a crackdown on dissent, Russian authorities declared famous Kremlin critics such as documentary filmmaker Yuri Dud and political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann “foreign agents” on Friday.

In a statement, the Russian justice ministry said it had added nine people to its growing list of “foreign agents,” including Dud Schulmann, 43, and caricaturist Sergei Yelkin, 59.

Popular journalists Roman Dobrokhotov, 38, and Karen Shainyan, 40, have now been added to the list.

Shainyan is an openly gay editor, producer, and LGBT rights activist, while Dobrokhotov is the founder of the investigative journalism website The Insider.

Schulmann, one of Russia’s most-quoted political analysts, recently left the country to conduct scientific work in Germany. She told AFP she had long expected to be designated a “foreign agent”.

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“And why only now?” tweeted Dobrokhotov in reference to his designation.

Moscow has stepped up efforts to stamp out dissent after President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.

Thousands of Russians have left the country in protest of the Kremlin’s policies, while independent media outlets have been shut down or halted operations.

Individuals or entities designated as “foreign agents” are required by law to reveal their sources of funding, submit to audits, and include a caption noting content from a “foreign agent” in all of their texts, videos, and social media posts.

The classification, which is reminiscent of the Soviet-era term “enemy of the people,” is intended to apply to individuals or organisations who receive foreign funds and engage in any type of “political action.”

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