June 21, 2022

Precarious Citizenship


Precarious Citizenship
Arshak Makichyan (center), protesting the invasion of Ukraine in May. Twitter, @MakichyanA

The citizenship of Arshak Makichyan, or, as he is known in Moscow, "the lone climate protester," has been called into question recently after he actively began speaking out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Makichyan's status as a citizen will be reviewed at a hearing in Moscow on June 27. Should his citizenship be revoked, other foreign-born Russians may be at greater risk in the future.

Born in Armenia, Makichyan moved to Moscow as a young adult, where he gained Russian citizenship. Ever since, his love of Russia and its people has grown, so much so that he said wishes only the best for the country and its people

Makichyan said he views this strike against his citizenship as not only a way for the government to get rid of its critics, but also as a way to raise the fear level among foreign-born dissidents, so as to prevent any further protest. Ironically, at the same time that Makichyan's citizenship is being threatened, many Ukrainians are being granted Russian citizenship against their will.

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