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Former Pro-Kremlin Lawmaker Condemns Ukraine Invasion 

Robert Schlegel in the Russian State Duma in 2016. Dmitry Dukhanin / Kommersant

A former pro-Kremlin lawmaker condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a tweet on Thursday, calling it “a war that no one but Vladimir Putin needed” and commending the “real heroes” in Russia who have spoken out publicly against it. 

Robert Schlegel, who has lived in Germany since 2019, was previously a member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party and served as a deputy in the State Duma between 2007-2016.

“In a situation where Russia no longer has a Constitution, no institutions, no law, not even history, because all this is subordinated to the ego and fears of one person, Russia is alive by the beating of the brave hearts of these people”, Schlegel tweeted, namechecking prominent jailed opposition figures including Alexei Navalny and Ilya Yashin.

The war in Ukraine could have no positive outcome, only catastrophic consequences, Schlegel warned. 

During his legislative career, Schlegel voted to ban U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children and co-authored Russia’s so-called “Google tax law.” 

He was also an activist in the pro-Kremlin youth group “Nashi,” which in 2009 admitted it had been behind a 2007 Russian cyber attack on Estonia.

After becoming a German citizen in 2019, Schlegel told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that he was "disappointed in politics" and that his views had "changed a lot."

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