September 26, 2022

Russian lawmakers demand Putin's removal from power over Ukraine

Russian lawmakers demand Putin’s removal from power over Ukraine

  • Local lawmakers in Saint Petersburg and Moscow have called for Putin’s resignation over the war in Ukraine.
  • The police have reportedly told lawmakers in Saint Petersburg that they are now facing charges.
  • Putin’s past opponents have ended up behind bars or dying.

Local Russian lawmakers in both Saint Petersburg and Moscow issued calls this week to remove Russian President Vladimir Putin from power over the war in Ukraine — a risky move in a country where dissent could lead to prison or worse.

Municipal deputies from the Smolninsky District Council in Saint Petersburg, the birthplace of the Russian president, issued a statement calling on the Russian parliament to remove Putin from power and accuse him of high treason for waging war in Ukraine, According to the Washington Post,.

On Wednesday, MP Dmitry Balyoga chirp And the document came out, which said, “We believe that the decision taken by President Putin to start a special military operation harms the security of Russia and its citizens.”

“The Smolninskoye District Municipal Council has decided to appeal to the deputies of the State Duma with a proposal to bring charges of treason against President Putin in order to remove him from office,” Balyoga said in a tweet accompanying the document, adding: “The decision was supported by the majority of deputies present.”

In the aftermath, police informed lawmakers that they face legal charges “due to actions aimed at discrediting the current Russian government,” the Washington Post reported.

A similar step was taken by lawmakers from the Municipal Council of Moscow’s Lomonosovsky district, also calling on Putin to resign.

“The discourse that you and your subordinates have used for a long time is saturated with fanaticism and aggression, which finally returned our country to the era of the Cold War,” said local lawmakers in Moscow. He said in a statementaccording to Latvia-based investigative agency The Insider.

They added, “Russia is once again terrifying and hated, and we are once again threatening the world with nuclear weapons.” “In view of the foregoing, we ask you to resign from your post, because your views and your model of government are hopelessly outdated and impede the development of Russia and its human potential.”

Soon after ordering the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in late February, Putin signed a law criminalizing the dissemination of so-called “fake news” about the Russian military. Those who have been found guilty can Up to 15 years in prison. Rights groups and activists denounce this move As a blatant attempt to stifle freedom of expression and legitimate criticism of the war.

Putin’s critics often end up in prison or die in violent or mysterious ways.

Putin’s most prominent opponent, Alexei Navalny, was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok in August 2020, but managed to survive an assassination attempt. Navalny was imprisoned less than a year later on charges widely condemned as politically motivated, and he remains behind bars.

Despite recent calls from some local lawmakers, it is unlikely that Russia’s ratifying parliament will move to oust Putin or that such efforts will affect the war in Ukraine.

“We understand that Putin will not shed a tear and stop the process,” Nikita Yuverev, a member of the Saint Petersburg city council, told the newspaper.

“These requests are written for people who are still in Russia and for whom the propaganda is trying to assert that they are a minority, and that there are no people who are against it,” Yuverev said.

Contrary to official Russian statements, the Russian military struggled to make gains in Ukraine while incurring heavy losses.

The Pentagon recently said that the number of Russian casualties in Ukraine was estimated at 80,000. Meanwhile, the West moved to cripple the Russian economy through harsh sanctions while moving to isolate Moscow politically. Russia was condemned around the world for the invasion of Ukraine, and its military was accused of war crimes and other atrocities.