Russian lawmakers approve bill to confiscate assets of people who ”discredit” the army
MOSCOW — The lower house of Russian parliament on Wednesday approved a bill that would allow the confiscation of money, valuables and other assets from those convicted on charges of spreading “deliberately false information” about the country’s military.
The State Duma swiftly voted to approve the bill, which is now expected to quickly sail through the upper house and be signed by President Vladimir Putin.
Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has said that the new law would apply to people who are convicted of publicly inciting “extremist activities” or calling for actions that would hurt the security of the state, as well as “discrediting” the armed forces.
Discrediting the armed forces is a criminal offense under a law adopted as part of a sweeping government crackdown on dissent after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022.
“Everyone who tries to destroy Russia, who betrays it, must suffer the deserved punishment and pay compensation for the damage inflicted on the country, at the cost of their property,” Volodin said.
The proposed law does not appear to include real estate among the assets that can be seized.
The existing law against “discrediting” the Russian military, which covers offenses such as “justifying terrorism” and spreading “fake news” about the armed forces, has been used extensively to silence Putin’s critics. Multiple activists, bloggers and ordinary Russians have received long jail terms.