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The vote sent a chill among other lawmakers. Communist deputy Vladimir Pozdnyakov said before the vote that an expulsion would put pressure on all lawmakers: “We have no guarantee now that any other deputy will not end up in this meat grinder.”

Gudkov said it also sends a troubling message about the direction of the Russian government.

“They’re expelling me from the Duma because they’re afraid of the truth, afraid of criticism and my stance,” he said. “We have come very close to the brink that separates an authoritarian regime from a dictatorship.”


Vladimir Isachenkov contributed to this report.