Russian politicians call for Putin to resign for ‘harming citizens’ future’ with Ukraine invasion

Vladimir Putin’s problems are mounting as a group of Russian politicians have risked their livelihoods to demand his resignation in the wake of his collapsing invasion of Ukraine.

Municipal deputies from 18 districts of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kolpino made the statement on Twitter, the third such group to do so in a week after similar calls last Wednesday and Thursday.

‘We believe that the actions of President Vladimir Putin inflict harm on the future of Russia and its citizens,’ they published on the Twitter of Xenia Torstrem, a municipal deputy of St Petersburg.

‘We demand the resignation of Vladimir Putin from the office of President of the Russian Federation.’

The demand is followed by the signatures of 18 local councillors from districts within the three cities.

‘The text of the petition is concise and does not ‘discredit’ anyone. If you are a municipal deputy and want to join, you are welcome,’ Torstrem added.

Vladimir Putin is facing unprecedented calls to resign from local councillors over his fiasco invasion of Ukraine

Eighteen municipal deputies from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kolpino signed the petition, which said: 'We believe that the actions of President Vladimir Putin inflict harm on the future of Russia and its citizens.' Pictured: A man holding a placard reading "No occupation of Ukraine" during a protest at Pushkinskaya Square on February 24, 2022 in Moscow

Eighteen municipal deputies from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kolpino signed the petition, which said: 'We believe that the actions of President Vladimir Putin inflict harm on the future of Russia and its citizens.' Pictured: A man holding a placard reading "No occupation of Ukraine" during a protest at Pushkinskaya Square on February 24, 2022 in Moscow

Eighteen municipal deputies from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kolpino signed the petition, which said: ‘We believe that the actions of President Vladimir Putin inflict harm on the future of Russia and its citizens.’ Pictured: A man holding a placard reading ‘No occupation of Ukraine’ during a protest at Pushkinskaya Square on February 24, 2022 in Moscow

The public demand was made after a catastrophic week of the occupying Russian army in Ukraine, which suffered stunning reversals after a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region. Pictured: A Ukranian soldier stands atop an abandoned Russian tank near a village on the outskirts of Izyum, Kharkiv region

The public demand was made after a catastrophic week of the occupying Russian army in Ukraine, which suffered stunning reversals after a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region. Pictured: A Ukranian soldier stands atop an abandoned Russian tank near a village on the outskirts of Izyum, Kharkiv region

The public demand was made after a catastrophic week of the occupying Russian army in Ukraine, which suffered stunning reversals after a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region. Pictured: A Ukranian soldier stands atop an abandoned Russian tank near a village on the outskirts of Izyum, Kharkiv region

The public demand was made after a catastrophic week for the occupying Russian army in Ukraine, which suffered stunning reversals after a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region. 

There are credible reports that Russian units simply turned tails and fled without putting up a fight against the Ukrainian onslaught, leaving behind more ammunition and tanks than the liberators can recover.

Another St Petersburg councillor bravely submitted a petition for Putin’s impeachment on grounds of treason on Sunday.

Kunin Vasily Evgenievich blamed Putin for casting Russia into international isolation, with the country’s economy ‘failing at an unprecedented rate’ and young professionals taking flight from the place of birth.

‘A totalitarian police regime has been established in the country, all independent media and political repression intensified.

‘All of the above violates the rights of citizens of the Russian Federation to security, to economic development, well-being, freedom of expression. Putin’s course has thrown our country back decades.’

He also lamented the thousands of dead Russian soldiers, of which the ‘Russian Federation does not publish data on the losses.’

Local politicians in Russia (pictured) who dared call for Vladimir Putin to be charged with treason and forced out of office were today summoned for police interrogations

Local politicians in Russia (pictured) who dared call for Vladimir Putin to be charged with treason and forced out of office were today summoned for police interrogations

Local politicians in Russia (pictured) who dared call for Vladimir Putin to be charged with treason and forced out of office were today summoned for police interrogations 

The group of councillors in Smolninskoye, a municipality in St Petersburg where Putin (pictured Wednesday) was born, made the extraordinary appeal to the Russian parliament yesterday. Today, it was reported that they were called in by police for interrogation

The group of councillors in Smolninskoye, a municipality in St Petersburg where Putin (pictured Wednesday) was born, made the extraordinary appeal to the Russian parliament yesterday. Today, it was reported that they were called in by police for interrogation

The group of councillors in Smolninskoye, a municipality in St Petersburg where Putin (pictured Wednesday) was born, made the extraordinary appeal to the Russian parliament yesterday. Today, it was reported that they were called in by police for interrogation

It is the collapse in the army which is perhaps most stark for Putin, as he has staked so much of his aura on the pre-eminence of the Russian military.

‘Morale is low, training is poor, food is awful, equipment is inadequate, welfare and training is neglected, and commanders are seen as dishonest, uncaring and incompetent,’ independent military history author and researcher ChrisO wrote on Twitter in a scathing assessment.

The Kremlin’s response to such challenges is often bureaucratic but quietly devastating for those with the courage to stand up to the dictator.

Councillors in Smolninskoye, a district of St Petersburg, who called for Vladimir Putin to be charged with treason and forced out of office last week were summoned for police interrogations.

They could face fines or even jail under draconian laws which punish criticism of the armed forces and the Russian authorities.

Like Evgenievich, they had complained that Putin’s war with Ukraine was leading to young soldiers dying or being maimed, and causing huge economic and political damage to Russia.

The politicians say they petitioned the Russia parliament to find Putin guilty of ‘high treason’ and to oust him.

One of those summoned by police, Nikita Yuferev, 34, said he and six other councillors had been told to appear for questioning.

The councillors complained that Putin's war in Ukraine has left thousands of Russian soldiers dead and damaged the country's economy

The councillors complained that Putin's war in Ukraine has left thousands of Russian soldiers dead and damaged the country's economy

The councillors complained that Putin’s war in Ukraine has left thousands of Russian soldiers dead and damaged the country’s economy

Ukrainian servicemen riding a BTR amphibious armoured personnel carrier (APC) drive out of Bakhmut, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Wednesday

Ukrainian servicemen riding a BTR amphibious armoured personnel carrier (APC) drive out of Bakhmut, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Wednesday

Ukrainian servicemen riding a BTR amphibious armoured personnel carrier (APC) drive out of Bakhmut, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Wednesday

Another councillor Dmitry Palyuga, 35, had said Putin’s war ‘harms the security of Russia and its citizens’.

The anti-war councillors claimed they had a quorum at a special session.

But Grigory Rankov, head of the Smolninskoye administration, claimed today that the group acted illegally in petitioning the state Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.

The demand to charge Putin was a ‘provocation’ and an ‘attempt to discredit’ the council, he said.

The councillors attended the police station today, represented by a lawyer.

It was not immediately clear what action would be taken against them.

‘We want to show people that there are [democratic representatives] who don’t agree with the current course and think Putin is harming Russia,’ said Palyuga.

‘We want to show people that we are not afraid to talk about it.’

Among others calling Putin a ‘traitor’ were Radislav Poluykov and Dmitry Baltrukov.

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