Tue. May 17th, 2022
3 members of Russia’s parliament speak out against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, marking a rare moment of dissent

  • Dissent against Vladimir Putin by members of Russia’s parliament is rare.
  • But three members have spoken out against the Ukraine invasion, The New York Times reported.
  • They voted to recognize two Ukrainian separatist regions but said they didn’t expect the invasion.

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Three members of Russia’s parliament have criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, The New York Times reported Monday.

The three members — Vyacheslav Markhaev, Oleg Smolin, and Mikhail Matveyev — are all members of the country’s Communist Party. They’re part of the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly.

The Communist Party typically opposes the governing United Russia party but remains loyal to Putin, per The Times. The three members previously voted in favor of a resolution recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk, the two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, as independent states.

But in a social-media post Friday, translated by The Times, Smolin said he was “shocked” by the invasion. “As a Russian intellectual, I am convinced that military force should be used in politics only as a last resort,” Smolin wrote.

In a statement posted to Facebook on Sunday, Markhaev said the lower house of Parliament wasn’t informed there would be a full-scale invasion, The Times reported.

And in now-deleted comments on Twitter, Matveyev called for the invasions to be stopped immediately, The Times reported.

“I voted for peace, not for war,” Matveyev said on Twitter and Telegram, according to The Times. “For Russia to become a shield, so that Donbas is not bombed, and not for Kyiv to be bombed.”

On Sunday, Matveyev said on Twitter that he deleted the posts because they were being cited all over the world, mostly anonymously to “incite mutual hatred.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted protests across the world, including in Russia. Politicians and public figures alike have spoken out against Putin’s aggression.

Western nations including the US have levied sanctions and other restrictive financial measures against Russia, including barring some banks from the SWIFT global banking system.

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