State Duma (Russia’s lower chamber of parliament) member  Mikhail Matveyev (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) has proposed actually equating so-called Diasporas with foreign agents.

He told RTVI in an interview on May 20 that this follows from his new version of the law on national cultural autonomies.

“I propose to impose a ban on foreign funding of national-ethnic associations. And in the case of interaction of associations belonging to ethnic communities, having their own states abroad in Russia, with foreign citizens and organizations, it is assumed that they are classified as foreign agents,” Matveyev said.  

However, the bill does not envisage the liquidation of Diasporas.

“The concept of “diaspora” is absent in the legislation.  Therefore, it is impossible to legally liquidate something that legally does not exist,” Matveyev added.    

Recall, Mikhail Matveyev forecast in January this year that when the so-called “special military operation” (SVO) ends, clashes with migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus will begin in Russia.  "We are facing a serious clash in a country of two civilizations.  They [radical Muslims] are not satisfied with Russia in a secular form, and they are not satisfied with the role of Orthodox civilization.  And, of course, all this is very alarming indeed because we see how more and more of our living space in Russia is being reclaimed by them.  I think that when the SVO is over, and half a million or more of our guys return from the front, the main clashes like this will begin," Matveyev noted. 

The Russian “foreign agents” law requires anyone who receives support from outside Russia or is under influence from outside Russia to register and declare themselves as foreign agents.  Once registered, they are subject to additional audits and are obliged to mark all their publications with a 24-word disclaimer saying that they are being distributed by a “foreign agent”.  The phrase “foreign agent” in Russian has strong associations with Cold War-era espionage. The law has been heavily criticized both in Russia and internationally as violating human rights, and as a tool used to suppress civil society and press freedom within Russian.