Ukraine, Putin: “Those who live in annexed regions are Russian”

Deportation for those who do not accept Russian citizenship. New law: life imprisonment for high treason

The four Ukrainian regions annexed to Russia “are our historical lands and their inhabitants are related to us. Many of you have been there: how are they different from us? In no way, they are part of us”. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this at a meeting with the Council of Legislators in St. Petersburg, after signing a decree which provides for the deportation of those who do not accept Russian citizenship. Because those who do not want to accept it – in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), in the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions – will be considered as “foreigners” from 1 July 2024.

“Today it is necessary to defend the clear choice of the inhabitants of those regions to return to Russia,” he added. “Anyone who poses a threat to the national security” of Russia, who supports “a forced change of the foundations of the constitutional order”, finances extremist or terrorist activities, or participates in unauthorized protests may also be deported.

Putin today also signed the law to tighten until thelife imprisonment for those found guilty of high treason. Ria Novosti writes this in relation to the changes made to article 275 of the penal code of the Russian Federation on the crime of ‘treason’. Previously, the law established a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and the payment of a fine of up to 500 thousand rubles.

Life imprisonment will also be provided for those who commit the crime of espionage, giving information constituting state secrets to foreigners, switching to the side of the enemy, or providing financial, logistical, consulting or other assistance against the Russian Federation.

Also harsher sentences for those recognized as criminally responsible for sabotage and terrorism. Up to 20 years in prison, compared to the previous 15, for those who commit acts of sabotage, while those found guilty of acts of international terrorism risk a minimum sentence of 12 years in prison (previously it was 10).