World Leader Wants To Spy On Russian People Living In Foreign Countries

The President of the Czech Republic said that Russians living in the West should be placed under strict surveillance. In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Petr Pavel said Western governments should monitor Russians while the war in Ukraine is ongoing. 

“I can be sorry for these people, but at the same time when we look back, when the Second World War started, all the Japanese population living in the United States were under a strict monitoring regime as well,” the President said. 

He clarified his point and said the monitoring should take the form of security services scrutiny and not internment of the kind that took place in the US during the Second World War. Pavel added however that most Russians are loyal to President Vladimir Putin and it would be insanity for Western nations to ignore the potential threat of such loyalists living within their borders. 

According to data seen by the Washington Post, up to one million Russians have left the country since the war began – many to avoid being drafted into military service. Reports by the British broadcaster BBC say that Russians’ fear of a military draft was exacerbated by the poor training and substandard equipment issued to the country’s troops. In April, authorities in Moscow confirmed that conscription papers would be issued online, replacing the previous requirement that papers be served in person. The Kremlin denied the tactic is intended to speed up mobilization. 

Some critics referred to the new conscription process as an “electronic gulag.” 

According to the BBC, many of those leaving Russia are going to Georgia and Armenia, where they face no restrictions. In the 15 months following the start of the war, 155,000 Russian citizens were awarded temporary residence permits in other countries, including some in the European Union. Around 17,000 applied for political asylum in Europe, but it was granted to only 2,000. Russia downplays the significance of the departures but admits that thousands have left.