Dozens of municipal deputies from Moscow and St. Petersburg on Sept. 12 issued a public statement calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to resign. “President Putin’s actions are detrimental to the future of Russia and its citizens,” reads the petition shared on Twitter by Xenia Torstrem, a deputy for St. Petersburg’s Semyonovsky district. The call comes amid claims of vote-rigging in the previous week’s local and regional elections—as well as a dramatic advance by Kyiv’s forces that marks the most significant setback yet in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Several towns have been liberated in the Ukrainian counter-offensive in northeastern Kharkiv region.
The call’s signatories, numbering some 30, are at risk of long prison terms under laws passed shortly after the invasion was launched, which have facilitated a harsh crackdown on dissent.
Days before the deputies’ call was issued, the Council of Smolninskoye Municipal Okrug in St. Petersburg approved a resolution calling on the State Duma to bring charges of treason against Putin over the “aggressive invasion of Ukraine,” saying that “[t]he whole world looks upon this as a war crime.” The Smolninskoye Council was subsequently dissolved by judicial order. (The Moscow Times, Deep Dive, EuroWeekly News, EuroWeekly News)
Photo of St. Petersburg via FW