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Putin’s first prime minister and later rival added to Russia’s ‘foreign agents’ list – Magazine Creations

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Justice Ministry on Friday added Mikhail Kasyanov, who was President Vladimir Putin’s first prime minister but later became one of his rivals, to its “foreign agents” registry.

Russian law allows persons and organizations that receive money or support from outside the country to be labeled as foreign agents, a term whose pejorative connotations could undermine the recipient’s credibility.

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The law, which has been used extensively against opposition figures and independent news outlets, also requires material published by an agent to carry a prominent disclaimer stating that it originates from a foreign agent.

The ministry’s website states that Kasyanov “participated in creating and disseminating messages and materials of foreign agents to an unlimited circle of people, spread false information about the decisions made by the public authorities of the Russian Federation and the policies they follow” and “opposed the special military operation in Ukraine”.

Mikhail Kasyanov, a former prime minister, has emerged as a critic of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Kasyanov became prime minister in 2000 after Putin was elected president and served until 2004, when he was fired. He was primarily responsible for economic reforms, including Russia’s adoption of a single income tax.

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He became a prominent figure in the opposition after he left office and tried to run for president in 2008, but his candidacy was rejected by the national electoral commission.

Kasyanov later faded as Russia’s opposition weakened under arrests and crackdowns. After Putin sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022, Kasyanov fled the country and is reported to be in Latvia.

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