Russia lists Pussy Riot member, art collector and satirist as ‘foreign agents’

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Thursday designated a member of the Pussy Riot punk band, a distinguished art collector and a widely known satirist as “international brokers”, the most recent in a sequence of strikes critics say are designed to stifle dissent.

Capping a yr of crackdowns on Kremlin critics unseen because the Soviet period, Russian authorities this week ordered the closure of the nation’s oldest human rights group Memorial International.

2021 additionally noticed the jailing of Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin’s high critic, and his motion banned. Many of his allies had been compelled to flee.

The authorities says it’s implementing legal guidelines to thwart extremism and defend the nation from what it says are malign international influences.

On Thursday, Russia’s justice ministry added Nadezhda Tolokonnikova from Pussy Riot, art collector Marat Gelman, satirist and Kremlin critic Viktor Shenderovich and 5 others to the checklist of “international brokers” that has now grown to 111 names from 17 as of late 2020.

The time period “international agent” carries damaging Soviet-era connotations and topics these listed to stringent monetary reporting necessities. It additionally obliges them to preface something they publish with a disclaimer stating they’re international brokers.

Shenderovich is certainly one of Russia’s most distinguished satirists, greatest identified for a political caricature puppet present televised within the Nineteen Nineties.

Tolokonnikova helped launch Pussy Riot, which turned identified for a sequence of provocative performances together with protesting in opposition to the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church.

She can be one of many founders of unbiased information outlet Mediazona, which was itself labelled “international agent” in late September.

On Thursday, Mediazona mentioned the justice ministry had put it on the checklist for citing different “international brokers” and receiving cash from Google ads.

Media shops have complained that carrying “international agent” disclaimers is akin to defacing their very own merchandise and severely dents promoting income.

Several Russian media shops with the label opted to close down as discovering sponsors and advertisers turned nearly inconceivable.

The Kremlin rejects the concept that media are being persecuted and says the laws is required to guard Russia from international meddling and that journalists and NGOs could be manipulated.

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; further reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by Toby Chopra)



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