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Russian actor Artur Smolyaninov, who spoke out against war in Ukraine on multiple occasions, added to ‘foreign agents’ list

The Russian Ministry of Justice has added music critic Artemy Troitsky, actor Artur Smolyaninov, defrocked priest Sergey Kirsanov, ex-head of Navalny HQ in the city of Perm Sergey Ukhov, lawyer Anatoly Fursov, TV host Alexander Shelest, and a limited liability company TENES to the list of “foreign agents”.

On Monday, 9 January, Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, gave instructions to open a criminal case against Smolyaninov. “In an interview with a Western media outlet Smolyaninov made several remarks aimed against Russia,” the statement of the committee reads. Smolyaninov now faces prosecution for his interview with Novaya Gazeta Europe.

On 5 December, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law regulating activity of “foreign agents”. Materials created by “foreign agents” are now recognised as information harmful to children’s health and development. They have to be marked as adult material.

Furthermore, “foreign agents” are no longer allowed to teach in educational institutions, insure deposits, become contract servicemen, and be members of electoral commissions. There have also been cases of “foreign agents” getting fired from their job.

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