As summarized in a new report from CNN, several elected officials from the St. Petersburg area — specifically from the Smolninskoye municipality — recently pushed for the impeachment of Russian President Vladimir Putin by the country’s national legislature. The group is now facing fines.
Dmitry Palyuga, who CNN identifies as the author of the push, said Putin was responsible for “(1) the decimation of young able-bodied Russian men who would serve the workforce better than the military; (2) Russia’s economic downturn and brain drain; (3) NATO’s expansion eastward, including adding Finland and Sweden to “double” its border with Russia; (4) the opposite effect of the “special military operation” in Ukraine.” Estimates of the total number of fatalities the Russian military already suffered in Ukraine vary, but it is evidently well into the tens of thousands. Amid recently expanding counter-offensive operations by the Ukrainian military across the southern and eastern portions of Ukraine, Ukrainian military leadership say the rate of Russian military fatalities already repeatedly neared 500 a day.
Palyuga and fellow official Nikita Yuferev later shared a local police summons they received. A total of four local officials were summoned by St. Petersburg-area police, and initially available info revealed two were already released, although all were facing expected fines. The Russian government already clearly established its interest in pushing down any dissent amid Putin’s war against Ukraine, so it’s safe to assume the local officials who got behind this push for Putin’s impeachment were prepared for legal consequences. Over 16,400 detentions in Russia since the beginning of the war in Ukraine in connection to activism against it were already recorded. Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops are making significant advances on the ground. Ukraine recently liberated Kupiansk, a jurisdiction featuring a significant hub for rail transport.
In reclaiming the area, Ukrainian troops threatened the supplies for thousands of invading Russian soldiers across Ukraine’s northeastern regions. Russia subsequently moved troops from the Izium area. (Kupiansk and Izium are within 75 kilometers of each other.) “To achieve the stated goals of the Special Military Operation for the liberation of Donbass, it was decided to regroup the Russian troops located in the districts of Balakliia and Izium for the purpose of increasing efforts in the Donetsk direction,” per recent comments from the Russian defense ministry. In the Kharkiv region, Ukrainian troops also liberated Izium itself.