“Their political line was formed abroad”: Zakharova explained why Venediktov and Dudya were recognized as “foreign agents”

The Russian authorities recognized the editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy Alexei Venediktov, journalists Yuri Dudya and Alexei Pivovarov, as well as rapper Morgenstern as "foreign agents", because "they pursued a political line that was formed abroad at the suggestion of the relevant services." The official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Maria Zakharova , told the RTVI television channel about this. At the same time, the relevant law does not mention “political line” among the reasons why a person or organization can be recognized as a “foreign agent”.

“I believe that a number of materials of those people whom I know, and which came out either from their pen, or from the pen of employees of those teams that they led, clearly indicate that they pursued <this political line - The Insider> ,” Zakharova said.

Zakharova referred to Venediktov, who in 2018-2019 “published on his pages on social networks photographs of young Israeli women with weapons in their hands, praising the youth and beauty of those defending their homeland.”

“If a person stands for peace, for pacifism, this position in a person is stable and does not change depending on the situation. The most important thing is our guys, these are the citizens of our country. These are people who do their duty, and they also deserve such support. But for some reason it's not there. And I wonder why the guys who defend Israel delight the editor-in-chief of the Russian media? As well as, say, politicians and leaders of other states. And everything connected with our country caused unfair criticism,” Zakharova added.

The register of individuals acting as "foreign agents" appeared on April 5, in addition to the list of people recognized by the media as "foreign agents". Journalists Yevgeny Kiselyov and Matvey Ganapolsky, who worked in Russia in the past and now in Ukraine, were the first to be included in the register of individuals-“foreign agents”. On April 22, 2022, politician and journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza, as well as Navalny's ally Leonid Volkov , were added to the new register. In May, the Ministry of Justice added to the list of "foreign agents" opposition figure, ex-world chess champion Garry Kasparov and public figure, former head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Like the “foreign agent” media outlets, “foreign agent” individuals must mark their public materials and appeals to government bodies with a “foreign agent” status, and also regularly report to the Ministry of Justice on their income and expenses. Penalties for violating these requirements are harsher under the new registry. If a fine of 300,000 rubles or two years in prison is provided for “foreign agents” media outlets, then “foreign agents” individuals can be imprisoned for up to five years.

American Daily Newspaper

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