Russia puts journalist, comedian and members Pussy Riot on ‘foreign agents’ list

The Russian Ministry of Justice has included two members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot on the list of so-called โ€œforeign agents.โ€ It concerns founder Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Veronika Nikulchina. A journalist, a well-known satirist and a prominent art collector have also been listed. In total, it concerns eight people.

Organizations and people who are classified as foreign agents by the government are subject to restrictions. For example, their corridors are regularly examined and they are under strict financial supervision.

They must also mention in all their public statements that they have the label of a foreign agent. Tolokonnikova appeals against the decision.

According to the official lecture, these measures are taken against people who receive money from abroad and engage in political activities against those in power. But critics say that appointing foreign agents is meant to counter critical noises about the Kremlin.

Human Rights Organization Banned

The freedoms of organizations and individuals are increasingly being curtailed by the authorities. This week, human rights organization Memorial, the oldest and most respected human rights organization in the country, was banned. Memorial was also already classified as a foreign agent.

The term foreign agent was first used in 2012 and since last year, individuals have also been classified as foreign agents. Currently, 111 people or organizations are on the list. In October, research collective Bellingcat was still on the list.