Russia takes a decisive step in questioning the country’s territorial integrity and opponents

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Russia’s state Tass news agency said on Sunday that the government had expressed support for a legislative amendment that would make maps questioning the country’s official territorial integrity extremist and punishable material.

Tass agency stated that the amendment to the anti-extremism law in Russia stipulates that maps, documents and other images that question the territorial integrity of Russia will be classified as extremist materials.

Russia’s largely opaque anti-extremism law allows the Kremlin to tighten its grip on dissent.

The law applies to religious organizations, journalists and their materials, as well as corporate activity, among other things.

Tass agency reported that the new amendment was introduced after those who proposed it indicated that some of the maps distributed in Russia questioned the territorial affiliation of Crimea and the Kuril Islands.

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014, a move rejected by Ukraine and many countries as illegal.

Since then, Ukrainians and their government have repeatedly objected to world maps showing Crimea as part of Russian territory.

Russia and Japan didn’t officially declare the end of hostilities in World War II because of the confrontation between them over a group of islands located off the island of Hokkaido in the far north of Japan.

At the end of the war, the Soviet Union seized those islands known in Russia as the Kuril Islands and in Japan as the Northern Territories.

On the other hand, Russian politicians have begun to discuss punishing Russians who oppose the war in Ukraine and who, as former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev put it, wish for their homeland.

Medvedev, one of Putin’s most prominent allies, said that in times of war there are special rules that allow dealing with traitors.

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