Russian Politician Faces Jail Time for Calling for Putin’s Resignation – Russian President Vladimir Putin is facing increasing pressure in his own country from politicians, journalists, and more, to rethink his war in Ukraine. Following Ukraine’s victories in Kharkiv, politicians from all over Russia have expressed their doubts over Russia’s ability to win the war, with some calling for Putin to resign and others even calling for him to be tried for treason.
One petition calling for the resignation of the Russian president was signed by 19 local Russian elected officials and published on Monday this week. The text, signed by municipal deputies, accused Putin of “harming the future of the country and its citizens.”
“We demand the resignation of Vladimir Putin from the post of president of the Russian Federation,” the statement continues.
Reuters reports that 65 municipal representatives from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and various other regions eventually signed the same petition calling for Putin’s resignation. A group of deputies from the Smolninskoye council also appealed to the State Duma last week to not only strip Putin of his power, but to bring charges of treason against him over the damage caused to the Russian economy over his decision to invade Ukraine.
In response to the publication of the statement, a rare public act of defiance against the Russian president, the district council, which the local councilors form, now faces dissolution.
Putin Challenged: Prosecutors Shut Down Dissenters
Nikita Yuferev, one of the politicians calling for Putin’s resignation, described this week how a judge ruled a series of previous council meetings invalid and is now paving the way for the council to be dissolved by the regional governor. The Smolninsky District Court of St. Petersburg took action at the request of the prosecutor’s office, which claimed that the council had not met for more than three months. By declaring meetings invalid, the court is capable of dissolving the council – despite the fact that the council has met within the time period specified.
The court also fined one of the politicians who signed the anti-Putin statement 47,000 rubles, accusing Dmitriy Palyuga of “discrediting the army.”
Seven politicians were also summoned to the local police station, where five were charged with “discrediting” the government.
CNN reported on Wednesday that Yufurev was “not backing down” on the issue. After already being fined by the court, the next step for Yufurev is imprisonment. Speaking to CNN through a translator, Yufurev said that he will “continue to insist” on Putin’s resignation.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.