The Russian Ministry of Justice published today a unified register of foreign agents in Russia, TASS reported, referring to information on the department's website.

The list includes 493 names, including all individuals and legal entities previously declared foreign agents.

The new law on foreign agents, which entered into force today, provides for the creation of a single register (instead of the existing four), which will contain data on them, as well as information on the grounds for being designated as such.

A register of natural persons associated with foreign agents is also being created.

Individuals included in the bodies of a legal entity or public company designated as a foreign agent are recognized as such, as well as their founders, members, participants, managers.

The Russian authorities initiated criminal proceedings against the opposition lawyer and human rights defender Ilya Novikov and included him in the list of wanted persons, DPA reported.

The information was reported by the RIA Novosti agency, which referred to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Putin signed the Law on the Control of the Activities of Foreign Agents

Novikov rose to prominence as a lawyer in the lawsuits against the human rights organization Memorial and the Anti-Corruption Fund, created by Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The lawyer comes from a Russian-Ukrainian family and previously defended Ukrainian pilot Nadya Savchenko and director Oleg Sentsov, who were separately detained and jailed in Russia after fighting broke out in Ukraine in 2014. They were later released in prisoner swaps .

Novikov has been living in Ukraine for a year and is reported to have joined a unit of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces after the Russian invasion in February.

At the end of November, the Ministry of Justice of Russia declared him a foreign agent, according to DPA.