A group of Russian politicians from St. Petersburg to Moscow who called on Vladimir Putin to be “sacked” for his role in “high treason” face “fines” and the dissolution of the their district councils.
Nikita Yuferev, part of a group of St Petersburg politicians behind the what could be described as a coup against the Russian leader could also face heavy prison sentences.
Another council member, Dmitry Palyuga, said they were fined in court 47,000 roubles ($780) for “discrediting” the authorities by calling for Putin to be stripped of power.
So far 65 municipal representatives from St Petersburg, Moscow and many other regions in Russia have signed a petition to have Putin removed from the Kremlin.
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The Putin coup has started as politicians in ‘Moscow and St. Petersburg have now signed a petition demanding his resignation’
Any Russian who is accused of “discrediting” Putin’s armed forces or spreading what they deem to be “deliberately false information” will face heavy prison sentences to silence them.
Russian political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of the independent analysis project R.Politik said, “The reaction, or overreaction, may cause more political damage to the regime than this petition.
“But I have no doubts that all those who signed the petition will (come) under political pressure.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, said that critical points of view are tolerated, within the limits of the law.
“As long as they remain within the law, this is pluralism, but the line is very, very thin, one must be very careful here,” he said in a stern warning.
Ksenia Thorstrom, a St Petersburg local councillor who published the petition for Putin’s resignation, said it was too early to say how this will end.
Thorstrom told Reuters, “To call for a politician to resign is absolutely normal. There can be nothing criminal about it.
Yuferev said the move was about highlighting that some opposed to the Russian invasion, which Putin and the Kremlin insist on referring to as a “special military operation.”
Yuferev told Euronews in an interview, “It is important to address the general public.
“We are not so much appealing to Putin and the deputies of the State Duma [Parliament], it is clear that they will not shed a tear and will not finish what is happening in Ukraine, since the political field in the State Duma has been ‘cleansed’.
“We appeal primarily to those people who are in Russia, who are surrounded by this bubble of propaganda, which says that all of Russia is for Putin and supports a special military operation.
“We show that this is not the case.
“We show that they are not alone, that there are people in Russia who do not agree with Putin, do not agree with the special military operation, who are against it.”
Yuferev said he had received lots of support and he added, “People stop [to say thank you] on the street in our district, at the dacha. One of the neighbours, a man whom I did not suspect of anti-Putin sentiments at all, came up to me and shook my hand.
“I receive a huge number of letters […] with words of support. And not only me, all the other deputies too. We share such motivational messages as they come to us.
“And these are not just words, many offer money to pay for a lawyer, money to pay fines. One person even offered to pay for tickets to Mexico for me, my family and my cats so that we could feel safe.
“Of course, we did not agree to this proposal, because we remain in Russia. But this just shows the level of support our solution has.”