Support The Moscow Times!

Local Deputy in Russia's Far East Urges Putin to End War in Ukraine

Leonid Vasyukevich.

A local deputy in Russia’s Far East called on President Vladimir Putin to stop the military campaign in Ukraine in a rare show of opposition to the war among local politicians.

“We demand the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. We demand an end to military action,” Primorye region legislative assembly member Leonid Vasyukevich said during Friday’s session, according to a video shared by Far East video news website

Vasyukevich, a member of the Communist Party, said continuing Russia’s three-month campaign in Ukraine “would lead to an imminent increase in military deaths and injuries.” 

The anti-war statement is only the third such instance of a local deputy publicly opposing Russia’s invasion of its pro-Western neighbor.

The leader of a local council in Moscow, war critic Yelena Kotenochkina, set-up a petition calling on Putin to end the war in March. The Kremlin forwarded the petition to criminal investigators.

Later that month, Communist Party member Nina Belyayeva spoke out against the invasion at a city council session in southwestern Russia’s Voronezh region.

Both Belyayeva and Kotenochkina have since left Russia. 

Similarly to the previous two cases, the reaction to Vasyukevich’s anti-war statement was swift.

Primorye region Governor Oleg Kozhemyako, who was present at the session at which Vasyukevich critcized Putin, called Vasyukevich a “traitor,” according to Kommersant newspaper.

And a statement on the local assembly’s website said its chairman condemned Vasyukevich's “political provocation.”

“The vast majority of the legislative assembly deputies unambiguously support the Russian president,” said chairman Alexander Rolik.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more