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In Russia, elected Communists call for an end to the offensive in Ukraine

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For the first time since the start of the war, elected Communists from the Primorsky region called on Friday to end the offensive in Ukraine. Coming from a formation supporting the assault launched by Russia, the two elected officials in question were deprived of the right to vote for the day and are exposed to additional sanctions.

Communist elected officials from the Primorsky region, in the Russian Far East, asked Friday, during a meeting of the local Assembly, for an end to the offensive in Ukraine, before being deprived of the right to vote. This is the first time that such an initiative has been launched by elected members of the Communist Party, a formation which supports the assault launched on the orders of President Vladimir Putin on February 24. During this meeting, MP Leonid Vasyukevich, belonging to the Communist Party of Russia (KPRF), stood up and read an address to President Vladimir Putin, despite several attempts by other elected officials and the governor of the region, also present at the meeting, to silence him.

“We demand an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops”

“A few days ago, at a meeting of the Legislative Assembly of Primorsky Krai, a series of measures to support the families of soldiers who died during the military operation was adopted,” said Leonid Vassiukevich, according to the video of the meeting posted on the assembly’s YouTube account.

“We understand that if our country does not stop the war operation, there will be more and more orphans. During the military operation, people end up disabled, they are young people who could bring a lot to our country,” he continued. “We demand an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops,” he concluded, earning some applause.

Accused of “discrediting the Russian army”

The region’s governor, Oleg Kojemiako, then demanded that Leonid Vassioukevich and another communist deputy, Gennady Shulga, who had supported him after he spoke, be stripped of the floor, accusing them of “discrediting the Russian army (.. .) who fights against Nazism”, according to the video also uploaded by the Kommersant newspaper.

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These two deputies were then deprived of the right to vote by the Assembly for the day, with 27 votes in favor and five against. The leader of the communist group in this assembly, Anatoly Dolgachev, then denounced his colleagues and promised the “strongest reprisal measures”. The Russian authorities have strongly increased their pressure and their legal arsenal, which now makes it possible to punish with heavy fines or prison sentences anyone found guilty of having “discredited” the army or published “false information” about it.

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