Aiming at punishing actions deemed “unfavourable on the territorial integrity of Russia”, President Vladimir Putin has proposed an amendment to legislation, allowing officials to revoke their citizenship if the Russian military is shown in poor light or criticised, state media reported.
The amendments to the bill, originally adopted by the State Duma in April, deem “public dissemination of deliberately false information about the Russian Armed Forces” to be a crime, holding it to be sufficient for cancelling of Russian passports, thereby citizenship.
It primarily targets those who acquired citizenship through passport and not by birthright, for example, as a result of Russia’s ‘annexation’ of new territories.
Among the changes proposed by Putin includes violating Russia’s territorial integrity, publicly calling for extremism, threatening the life of a government official, and abusing the state emblem and flag.
The original bill had suggested that the citizenship would be revoked for “serious crimes against the state, terrorist activities, drug trafficking and forgery of documents.”
Moreover, Putin has proposed that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) will be the nodal agency of establishing “cases of actions threatening to the security of the state that could lead to deprivation of citizenship,” RIA Novosti added.
The decision to revoke citizenship can be made regardless of when the crime was committed, it added.
Since the start of the Ukrainian conflict, Russia has been hawking in terms of how the actions of its military is reported by the local media.
It has been taking action against the media on its report on war by deeming it unfavourable.
Earlier this year couple of weeks after the conflict began, Russia’s parliament passed a law imposing a jail term of up to 15 years for spreading intentionally “fake” news about the military.