November 8, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10946

Chairman Of Russian State Duma Volodin Proposes Sentencing To Forced Labor Those Russians Who Left After Invasion Of Ukraine

November 8, 2023
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 10946

Russian media reported that Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, suggested that relokanty should be sent to forced labor. Relokanty is a term for Russians who, after Russia invaded Ukraine and partially mobilized, left Russia and settled mainly in the post-Soviet republics, Israel, and Turkey before returning to Russia.

Earlier, Volodin stressed that "relokanty" should be sent to the far eastern region of Magadan, known for its Gulag camps. Magadan is a port city on the isthmus of the Staritsky Peninsula, it was a major transit center for political prisoners during the Soviet times. "To send someone to Magadan" has become a stable euphemist for deportation and state persecution.

However, the Governor of Magadan Oblast, Sergei Nosov, stated that his region does not accept "relokanty," who are perceived as traitors. Soon after, Volodin agreed that "unfriendly relokanty" who returned to Russia should be sent to forced labor in mines in cold regions, and not to Magadan.

Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin (Source:

Below is the article in the Russian media outlet RBC on the subject:[1]

"'Unfriendly relocanty,' who have returned to Russia should be sent to [forced labor in] mines in cold regions, not to Magadan, said Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin. Deputy Rosa Chemeris published a video of the Speaker's words on her Telegram channel.

"According to Volodin, 'traitors to our country are not welcome in Magadan, the residents of the region see it as a threat and an insult.' Therefore, the speaker of the lower house suggested adjusting his own proposal and choosing another place.

"'But it will not be Magadan. Magadan is a territory of development. Most likely, as deputy Nikolai Kharitonov suggested, it would be mines. We should search for the exact spot with rather permanent weather, so that there is no summer there,' said Volodin.

"Volodin also stated that relocanty, who have made statements against Russia should be held liable under the criminal article on high treason upon their return.

"The day before the Chairman of the State Duma suggested that those who left Russia, showed support for Ukraine, and then returned to their homeland should be 'sent to Magadan.' Governor of Magadan Oblast Nosov, commenting on this proposal, stated that Kolyma[2] would not accept traitors and relocanty.

"The press secretary for Russian president Dmitry Peskov also commented on the situation. He noted that Volodin was referring to those who had taken 'a strongly anti-Russian stance and chose the side of the Kyiv regime.' Russia and these people 'have gone our separate ways,' said Peskov. However, 'innocent citizens' can freely choose their place of residence and return to their homeland at any time, said the presidential spokesman.

"This is not the first time that Volodin has spoken out against Russian citizens, who left the country after the start of the special military operation in Ukraine. In particular, in January, he proposed an initiative to confiscate the property of such Russians."


[1], October 11, 2023.

[2] Kolyma is a historical region in the northeast of Russia, roughly corresponding to the modern Magadan Oblast.

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