Russia: municipal revolt against Putin

St Petersburg

Dozens of municipal deputies from Moscow and St. Petersburg on Sept. 12 issued a public statementĀ callingĀ on RussianĀ President Vladimir Putin to resign.Ā “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 electionsā€”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’sĀ signatories, numbering some 30, are at risk of long prison terms under laws passed shortly after the invasion was launched, which have facilitated aĀ harsh crackdownĀ on dissent.

Days before the deputies’ call was issued, theĀ Council of Smolninskoye Municipal Okrug in St. Petersburg approved a resolutionĀ calling on the State Duma to bring charges of treason against Putin over the “aggressive invasion of Ukraine,” saying thatĀ “[t]he whole world looks upon this as a war crime.” TheĀ Smolninskoye Council was subsequently dissolved by judicial order.Ā (The Moscow Times, Deep Dive, EuroWeekly News, EuroWeekly News)

Photo ofĀ St. PetersburgĀ via FW

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    Some 1,000 are reported arrested as protests have spread across Russia against the Kremlin’s decision to call up thousands of reserveĀ troops to fight in Ukraine.Ā (BBC News) Putin also announced plans for “elections” in occupied Ukrainian territories on unifying with Russia. This was accompanied by yet another nuclear threat: “To defend Russia and our people, we doubtlessly will use all weapons resources at our disposal.Ā This is not a bluff.” (Meduza, Politico)