Russian Lawmakers Branded As Traitors For Demanding Putin End Ukraine Invasion
RUSSIA - Two Russian lawmakers who acted as regional officials have been branded as traitors and ordered out of a legislation meeting after they called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the invasion on Ukraine, while others who had previously spoken out were forced to leave the country.
The lawmakers, Leonid Vasyukevich and Gennady Shulga, who are part of Russia's Communist Party are seen in a video by the Legislative Assembly of Primorsky Krai calling for an end to the war, saying that if the war doesn't stop the number of orphans in Russia will increase, and young people will lose their lives and become disabled as the war continues.
According to a translation of the video from Russian by Business Insider Vasyukevich said, "If our country does not stop the military operation, the number of orphans in our country will increase".
"Over the course of the military operation young people lose their lives or become disabled. Those young people could have been very useful to our country".
"It has been almost three months and it is not possible to succeed by means of warfare. The continuation of the military operation will lead to the increased numbers of dead and wounded military personnel. We demand the immediate withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukraine".
Business Insider said that officials at the meeting attempted to stop Vasyukevich by shouting over him and telling him that he was speaking without being given permission. They also shouted that the war in Ukraine was not the subject of the meeting.
Radio Free Europe and Russian news Kommersant both reported that Primorsky Krai governor Oleg Kozhemyako called the two men traitors and had ordered them both to be removed. Whether they had been removed or not cannot be verified, however.
According to BBC Russian the leader of the Communist Party in the Primorsky Krai assembly Anatoly Dolgachev said that the party would be punishing both Vasyukevich and Shulga with "the toughest measures".
Dolgachev said that the two "discredit the honor of the Communist Party with such statements".
A legislative assembly member of the Primorye region Leonid Vasyukevich, who is a member of the Communist Party has also called on Putin to stop the 'military action' in Ukraine, saying "We demand the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. We demand an end to military action".
Vasyukevich said that continuing Russia's military action in Ukraine "would lead to an imminent increase in military deaths and injuries".
Yelena Kotenochkina, who was the leader of a local council in Moscow, Russia had put out a petition calling on Putin to end the war back in March, which was then forwarded to criminal investigators by the Kremlin.
Later in March, Nina Belyayeva who was a Communist Party member objected to the invasion at a city council meeting in Voronezh, Russia.
Both Belyayeva and Kotenochkina have since left Russia.