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Russian TV host threatens ‘concentration camps and sterilisation’ for ‘opponents of the letter Z’

A prominent presenter on Russian state television has warned that opponents of Russia’s war in Ukraine will face harsh punishments including “concentration camps and sterilization”.

Karen Shakhnazarov, a pro-Putin filmmaker, said any “opposer of the letter Z”, the symbol of Russia’s invasion, would be met “mercilessly”.

“The opponents of the letter Z must understand that if they have mercy, no, there will be no mercy for them,” Shakhnazarov, who runs the state-backed Mosfilm film studio, told Russia’s state-run Russia TV channel. one.

Everything has become very serious. In this case, it means concentration, re-education and sterilization camps.’

Karen Shakhnazarov, a pro-Putin filmmaker, said any

Karen Shakhnazarov, a pro-Putin filmmaker, said any “opposer of the letter Z”, the symbol of Russia’s invasion, would be met “mercilessly”.

1651759001 217 Russian TV host threatens concentration camps and sterilisation for opponents

“The opponents of the letter Z must understand that if they have mercy, no, there will be no mercy for them,” Shakhnazarov, who runs the state-backed Mosfilm film studio, told Russia’s state-run Russia TV channel. one

Shakhnazarov later claimed that his comments had been taken out of context, but did not elaborate further.

In a tone similar to Shakhnazarov’s, Putin recently compared opposition figures to “mosquitoes” and “traitors” trying to weaken the country at the behest of the West. The Russian president called on the county to ‘purify’ itself of opposition.

“The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and will simply spit them out like a mosquito that accidentally flew into their mouths, spit them out on the pavement,” Putin said in March.

“I am convinced that such a natural and necessary self-purification of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion and readiness to respond to any challenge.”

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said yesterday he fears the Kremlin is preparing to send him to a “torture” prison known for sexual violence in a bid to prevent him from speaking out against the invasion.

“I heard rumors that I will be transferred to the high security colony in Melekhovo, where convicts have their nails pulled,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

The strict regime maximum security penal colony in Melekhovo is notorious for brutal beatings and rape of male inmates.

Navalny, a prominent enemy of Vladimir Putin who is currently in another less harsh prison, posted: ‘My [new] the verdict is not yet in force, but the prisoners of the maximum security colony of Melekhovo write that they are equipping a “prison in prison” for me there’.

Navalny was convicted of fraud and sentenced to a further nine years in a maximum security prison in March, after already receiving a sentence of three years and eight months for ’embezzlement’, marking almost 13 in total.

Navalny appears at his trial session outside the court in penal colony N2 (IK-2) in Pokrov.  He was sentenced to an additional nine years in a maximum security prison in March.  Now he fears he will be sent to a 'torture' prison known for sexual violence.

Navalny appears at his trial session outside the court in penal colony N2 (IK-2) in Pokrov. He was sentenced to an additional nine years in a maximum security prison in March. Now he fears he will be sent to a ‘torture’ prison known for sexual violence.

Hundreds of Russians are now facing charges for speaking out against the war in Ukraine since a repressive law was passed in March that bans spreading “false information” about the invasion and disparaging the armed forces.

Human rights groups say the crackdown has led to criminal prosecutions and possible prison sentences for at least 23 people on charges of “false information,” with more than 500 facing lesser charges of disparaging the armed forces that have resulted in heavy fines or are expected to do so. result in them.

“This is a large number, an unprecedented number” of cases, said Damir Gainutdinov, head of the legal aid group Net Freedoms which focuses on free speech cases.

The Kremlin has tried to control the narrative of the war from the moment its troops entered Ukraine.

He called the attack a “special military operation” and increased pressure on independent Russian media that called it a “war” or “invasion,” blocking access to many news sites whose coverage strayed from the official line.

The Kremlin has tried to control the narrative of the war from the moment its troops entered Ukraine.  Pictured: Members and supporters of the Russian Communist Party wave flags during the annual May Day (Labor Day) marking international workers' day in Moscow on May 1.

The Kremlin has tried to control the narrative of the war from the moment its troops entered Ukraine. Pictured: Members and supporters of the Russian Communist Party wave flags during the annual May Day (Labor Day) marking international workers’ day in Moscow on May 1.

Support for the “special invasion” has fallen among Russians from 81 percent to 74 percent, according to a poll by the independent Levada Center. One in five say they are against the war.

The mass arrests have quelled anti-war protests, turning them from a daily event in big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg into rare occurrences that draw little attention.

Parliament passed a law against the spread of “fake news” about the war or disparagement of the military in one day and took effect immediately, effectively exposing anyone who criticizes the conflict to fines and prison terms.

The first publicly known criminal cases for ‘forgeries’ targeted public figures such as Veronika Belotserkovskaya, a Russian-language cookbook author and popular blogger living abroad, and Alexander Nevzorov, a television journalist, film director and former MP.

Both were accused of posting “false information” about Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine on their widely followed social media pages, something Moscow has vehemently denied, insisting Russian forces only hit military targets.

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