(RightWing.org) – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s commitment to invest whatever resources it takes to achieve his military goals in Ukraine remains resolute. However, questions linger at home about the cost of that war in both economics and human life.
To that end, hundreds of thousands of Russians have fled the country, adding to the population of expatriates already living abroad. Czech President Petr Pavel recently discussed his thoughts concerning Russians living abroad and the need to monitor their activities.
On June 14, Pavel sat down for a wide-ranging interview at the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), a non-profit media organization funded by the US government. The Czech Republic leader explained that he empathized with Russians living abroad who faced challenges due to Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
Nevertheless, Pavel said that “security measures related to Russian nationals” living outside their native country “should be stricter” during an “ongoing” military conflict than in peaceful times. According to him, “all Russians living in Western countries” need to be “monitored” since they came from a country willing to wage an “aggressive war” against others.
“That is simply the cost of [waging] war,” Pavel stated. In support of his position, he also pointed to the treatment of Japanese immigrants in the United States during World War II, calling it a “strict monitoring [regimen] as well.”
RFE/RL contacted Pavel’s office to explain what the president thought a “strict monitoring” regimen would entail. The president’s spokesperson, Marketa Rehakova, said it would not mean the creation of internment camps or any other kind of persecution.
Rehakova said a significant majority of Russians living abroad supported Putin’s war in Ukraine, including the attack on civilian targets. It would constitute an “utter failure” by Czech security services not to “pay heightened attention” to Russians living in the Czech Republic. She also maintained that the president didn’t include all Russians, only “those presenting risk factors.”
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