Ex-PM Kasyanov considered ‘foreign agent’ by Russia

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Mikhail Kasyanov is among the most prominent Russian critics of the Kremlin

Russia’s justice department has labeled former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov as a “foreign agent,” a term often used to restrict opposition against the Kremlin.

Mr Kasyanov, who often speaks out against President Vladimir Putin, left Russia right after it invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

He was the Prime Minister when Mr. Putin was the President from 2000-2004, but he has spoken out against Russia’s war in Ukraine.

A person who knows a lot about money and likes to make changes, now lives in a different country away from his own.

Various individuals and groups who criticize the Kremlin and work in civil society are on the “foreign agent” list. In the past, the label meant that someone was secretly watching or listening to others.

Those people have to explain that they are a “foreign agent” on their writings and social media. They also have to tell the government where their money comes from. They are not allowed to fully take part in Russian politics.

The justice ministry said Mr Kasyanov didn’t support the military operation in Ukraine and was part of a group that tries to make Russian policies look bad.

Initially, the “foreign agent” law only applied to non-governmental organizations that got money from other countries. But now it also includes people and media, whether they are Russian or from another country, if they are seen as being influenced by other countries.

In May, Russia’s highest court closed down the Party of People’s Freedom (Parnas) that was led by Mr. The small opposition group used to have Boris Nemtsov, who was a strong critic of Putin. He was killed near the Kremlin in 2015.

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