Emily Sherwin (Moscow) had this story in Deutsche Welle:
Just ahead of the winter holidays at the end of last year, Russian lawmakers rushed through a host of new laws, including an addendum to Russia’s law on “foreign agents.” Before, only registered organizations and media outlets could receive the label. Now, individuals and even unregistered public movements involved in politics and financed from abroad can be branded.
The label “foreign agent” implies Cold War-style spying, and in practice it can mean discrimination, punishing bureaucratic hurdles, and fines.
The two recent changes to the legislation seemed almost tailor-made for the well-known human rights activist Lev Ponomarev. In December, Ponomarev was one of the first five individuals to be declared a “foreign agent media outlet” in Russia — a label the activist calls absurd and “almost funny.” He was on the list along with a feminist activist and three journalists.
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