Russia labels ex-PM and Putin critic ‘foreign agent’
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Russia labels ex-PM and Putin critic ‘foreign agent’. Though he served as PM during Mr. Putin’s first presidential term, he has condemned Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict.

In February 2022, Mr Kasyanov left Russia after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Kasyanov is an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin.

Critics of the Kremlin and civil society organizations are often listed as “foreign agents.” This label was once used as a code word for spies.

Their publications, including social media posts, must include an explanation of their “foreign agent” status and provide detailed updates on their funding sources to the authorities. There are restrictions on their participation in Russian politics.

Deputy Justice Minister Kasyanov was alleged to have opposed the Ukraine special operation and belonged to the Russian Anti-War Committee, which discredits Russian foreign and domestic policies.

A “foreign agent” law was originally intended only for non-governmental organisations receiving foreign funding, but has now been extended to include individuals and media deemed “under foreign influence,” whether they are Russian or foreign.

The Russian Supreme Court dissolved the Party of People’s Freedom (Parnas) led by Mr Kasyanov in May. Boris Nemtsov, one of the most vocal anti-Putin critics, was shot dead near the Kremlin in 2015 while leading a small liberal opposition party.