Russia’s parliament approves property confiscation for spreading ‘fakes’ about army

MOSCOW – Russia’s State Duma on Wednesday passed the first stage of a bill allowing the confiscation of property from those convicted of a number of crimes including spreading “deliberately false information” about the Russian army.

The measure will also apply to those found guilty of “discrediting” the armed forces, calling for sanctions against Russia or inciting extremist activity.

The Duma, parliament’s lower house, passed the bill in the first of three required readings by 395 votes to 3.

It would allow the state to seize the property of Russians who have left the country and have criticised the war in Ukraine, but who continue to rely on revenue from renting out their houses or apartments in Russia.

Since sending its army into Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has intensified a long-running clampdown on all forms of political dissent. Under laws passed in March of that year, discrediting the armed forces or spreading false information about them are already punishable by long jail terms. REUTERS

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