In Russia, Vladimir Putin is said to be increasingly losing support in the elites. However, very few people still dare to express criticism openly. Four MPs from the Communist Party went on the offensive.
Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has been going on for more than three months. And there is no end in sight – the two weeks initially set for the campaign threaten to end in endless bloodshed. Within the Russian elite, dissatisfaction with the supreme commander in the Kremlin is said to be growing. The independent news medium “Meduza” reported last week, citing sources from Russian leadership circles, that quite a few business representatives and a number of members of the government are “unhappy that the president started the war without thinking about the extent of the sanctions”.
There are also those who are not satisfied with the speed of the “special operation”. This faction would insist on a “more decisive approach” to war, to the point of full mobilization and war “to victory”.
But there are also those who dare to openly oppose the Kremlin’s course. In the Primorsky region, four deputies from the KPRF party (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) are now calling for the end of the “special military operation”, as the war must continue to be called according to Kremlin regulations.
“We demand the immediate withdrawal of the troops of the Russian Federation!”
At a session of the regional parliament, Leonid Vasyukevich read out the appeal of the deputies to Putin. “Dear President of the Russian Federation,” he began. After these few words, the chairman of the region’s Legislative Assembly tries to interrupt him in a panic. But the 68-year-old communist would not be stopped. He got up and continued reading the roll call.
“A few days ago, at another meeting, we decided on a number of measures to support the families of those killed in the military special operation. We understand that there will be many more orphans in our country if our country does not stop the military operation. Im Young men die or become disabled in the course of the special operation, and they could have brought enormous benefit to our country.”
“We’re discussing the agenda here,” the chairman called out loudly again. But Vasyukevich continued undeterred: “It is impossible to achieve success through war. The continuation of the military special operation will inevitably lead to more dead and injured soldiers. We demand the immediate withdrawal of the troops of the Russian Federation!”
Governor has Vasyukevich thrown out
“I’m warning you,” the chairman shouted after these sentences. “You are violating the agenda and regulations! You are speaking without the Chairman’s permission!” There is panic in the chairman’s voice.
Vasyukevich still manages to read the appeal to the end. His comrade-in-arms Gennady Schulga applauded. “Bring this schulga out of the hall,” demanded the governor of the Primorsky region Oleg Kozhemjako. Vasyukevich also had to leave the meeting. “For these actions that discredit the Russian army and our defenders fighting Nazism.”
As a result, the deputies of the Legislative Assembly deprived Vasyukevich and Shulga of the right to vote for the current session. The leader of the Communist Party faction, Anatoly Dolgachev, called his party colleagues’ appeal “demarche”. With “such statements they would defame the honor of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation”. He promised to investigate their actions and take “the toughest measures”.
Protest despite fear in Russia
The radical nature of the party’s distancing from the four MPs gives an idea of the extent of the fear with which Putin keeps Russia and his government under control. Nevertheless, there are always voices that break through the loud silence. Last week it was a deputy of the Kostrama regional Duma. At a session of parliament, Vladimir Mikhailov proposed that an appeal be made to Putin, in which the inadmissibility of a nuclear first strike on the part of Russia should be made clear. You can find out more about the performance, which featured the entire regional Duma, here.