More Russian Officials Join Group Of Now 47 Demanding Putin’s Resignation

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Following recent elections in Russia, nearly 50 local officials in Russia (so far, it’s 47) have now expressed support for a push for the exit of Russian President Vladimir Putin from power.

Under Putin’s leadership of the war in Ukraine, Russia is losing substantial amounts of personnel and equipment to the targeted country’s defenses, and attacks from Putin’s forces on the much smaller, neighboring country already led to nations worldwide cutting off numerous lines of economic connection with Russia. The local officials supporting the idea of Putin’s departure from power are (as CNN describes) municipal deputies, who are elected to their positions. Ksenia Thorstrom, who serves in a municipal deputy role in Russia’s Semenovsky District in the St. Petersburg area, explained: “My colleagues and I wanted to support the deputies from Smolninsky, who were recently summoned to the police and will soon have a trial.” Four officials from that other local district (also identified in English as Smolninskoye) were recently summoned by local police after they were among the first from the larger group pushing for Putin’s exit.

“We, the municipal deputies of Russia, believe that the actions of its president Vladimir Putin are detrimental to Russia’s and its citizens’ future,” the missive to which these officials are attaching their names succinctly states. “We demand Vladimir Putin’s resignation from the post of the President of the Russian Federation.” Thorstrom said they “decided to make our appeal so short that there would be less reason to find any fault with it from the authorities and so that as many municipal deputies as possible would sign the petition.” Previous info indicated the four officials who started the push were facing expected fines. Across Russia, more than 16,400 detentions in connection to activism against the war in Ukraine were already recorded. Dmitry Palyuga, one of the Smolninskoye officials, identified a range of specific concerns driving the original push, including “the decimation of young able-bodied Russian men who would serve the workforce better than the military.”

National Security Council communications official John Kirby expressed cautious interest in seeing where the opposition from local officials goes. “It is very interesting to see, isn’t it now, that he’s facing some public rebukes not just from opposition figures, but from actual elected officials inside Russia,” Kirby said this week on ABC. “That’s not insignificant, and we’ll see where this goes. And we’re already starting to see signs that they’re going to probably start to crack down on some of these dissident elected officials. We’ll watch this carefully. But it is noteworthy that now even elected municipal officials are coming out speaking against Mr. Putin.”

Russian troops are currently facing increasing rates of Ukrainian advance on Ukrainian territory previously under occupation. In Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, Russian soldiers recently left Izium, which was evidently a key focal point in the Russian push to completely seize Ukraine’s nearby Donetsk region, and Russians also recently departed a city in Ukraine’s Luhansk region called Kreminna, which is relatively close (around 25 kilometers away from) Severodonetsk, a large city in the Luhansk jurisdiction that fell to Russian forces in June. Recent reports also indicated Ukrainian troops were approaching Lysychansk, which was the last major jurisdiction in the Luhansk region Russian soldiers captured.