The Real Russia. Today. How Putin wants to giveth and taketh away Russian citizenship

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Public policy: Putin’s changes to Russian citizenship, Russia braces for Omicron, a first-ever ‘non-citizen passport,’ and a warden steps downInternational: New Russian military drills not far from Ukraine, Kanya West wants a sit-down with Putin, and (opinion) Elizabeth Buchanan says the West needs to identify the rules it will defendLaw and order: Limonov’s ghost strikes, Peskov dismisses Shenderovich, and KPRF gets into trouble for quoting Jean-Paul SartreSociety: Russian TV journalist Mikhail Zelensky dies

Public policy

🛂 Here’s how Putin’s new draft law would make it easier for the Russian authorities to grant and revoke citizenship (6-min read)

President Vladimir Putin has submitted a new draft law “On citizenship of the Russian Federation” to the State Duma. If adopted, it will replace the existing law of the same name. Among other things, the bill expands both eligibility for an expedited citizenship procedure and the grounds for revoking Russian citizenship.

Questions asked and answered: Can a person’s Russian citizenship really be revoked Will a person’s Russian citizenship be revoked automatically if they commit a crime? Is a conviction all it will take? Will the existing grounds for revoking citizenship remain in place? Do many foreign nationals acquire Russian citizenship? How does the expedited citizenship process work? Does this mean residents of Crimea could be deprived of Russian citizenship? Will the process for obtaining Russian citizenship change too? Will this law be adopted?

🦠 The Omicron variant is bringing Russia’s coronavirus epidemic to a tipping point, officials warn (2-min read)

According to government officials, Russia’s coronavirus epidemic has reached a tipping point. On Tuesday, January 11, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova, and Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko all raised concerns about the rapid spread of the Omicron strain during a meeting of the Presidium of the Government Coordination Council on countering COVID-19. Among other things, they warned that the daily number of new coronavirus cases in Russia could soon hit six figures. Meduza summarizes their remarks here.

🛂 Man from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, is Russia’s first-ever recipient of non-citizen passport’ (A stateless person, Yakubdzhan Khakimdzhanov now has a Russian temporary identity card. Now 54 years old, he immigrated to Astrakhan at the age of five and never received Russian citizenship. His new identity card is good for 10 years.)

👋 Head of Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo remand prison resigns (The resignation was reportedly planned in advance. His replacement is expected to be Mikhail Svinolup, a former FSB investigator who handled treason and espionage cases.)


🛡️ Russia mobilizes 3,000 troops and 300 military vehicles for exercises in regions near Ukraine (Organized by the Western Military District, the drills took place about 100 kilometers — about 60 miles — from the border with Ukraine. The exercises reportedly involved T-72B3 battle tanks and BMP-2 amphibious infantry fighting vehicles.)

✈️ The artist and entrepreneur formerly known as Kanye West reportedly seeks a meeting with Putin on upcoming Moscow trip (“Ye” also hopes to hold “Sunday Service performances” as his first-ever shows in Russia and expand his business ventures into the country, his associate told Billboard)

🛡️ (Opinion) Russia’s strategy in Ukraine is about testing what the West will ‘stomach’ (Australian polar geopolitics expert Elizabeth Buchanan says the challenges presented by states like Russia and China represent “an international rules-based order in transition.” As NATO revisits its “strategic concept” later this year, nations should recognize overlapping global interests, namely the climate crisis. At the same time, the West needs to decide what it’s willing to fight for where interests clash.)

Law and order

👮 Ten jailed for unpermitted demonstration in Moscow subway (the activists, who belong to the unregistered political party Eduard Limonov’s Other Russia, were advocating “the need for decisive action by the Russian authorities to protect the Russian-speaking population of Kazakhstan”)

👋 Kremlin says satirist fled litigation, not political persecution (Viktor Shenderovich recently revealed his emigration, saying he left Russia for reasons related to his “foreign agent” designation and threats of a lawsuit by the oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin. The Putin administration has argued repeatedly — and inaccurately — that the status doesn’t restrict civil rights.)

🕵️ State prosecutors go after St. Petersburg Communist Party members for quoting Jean-Paul Sartre on social media (A case against Alexey Filippov could be a prelude to felony charges, says his lawyer, who told The Insider that Filippov is being investigated for inciting hatred against a group defined by its political persuasion, even though this isn’t a protected class in Russia. The Sartre quote in question is the line: “Any anti-communist is a dog.” In late 2021, following elections where KPRF performed well at the polls, police pressed controversial felony charges against Communist Party members State Duma deputy Valery Rashkin and Primorye legislator Artem Samsonov.)


🕯️ Russian television anchor and journalist Mikhail Zelensky dead at 46 (The former Rossiya-1 host was reportedly on vacation with his wife in the Dominican Republic. For the past several years, he has worked at the Kultura network.)

Yours, Meduza


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