2 Russian lawmakers branded traitors and expelled from meeting for asking Putin to end Ukraine invasion

Leonid Vasyukevich urges Vladimir Putin to stop the war in Ukraine during a session of the Primorksy Krai legislative assembly on Friday.Youtube

  • Two officials from the Primorksy Krai region of Russia made an unexpected request to end the war.

  • The men upset a government meeting, were branded traitors and ordered to leave.

  • Virtually no official in Russia has spoken out against the war in Ukraine.

Two regional officials in Russia have been branded traitors and ordered out of a legislative meeting after calling on Vladimir Putin to end the invasion of Ukraine.

MKs Leonid Vasyukevich and Gennady Shulga spoke at a Friday meeting of the legislative assembly of Primorsky Krai in Russia’s far east. Both are part of the Russian Communist Party.

Video of the meeting shows Vasyukevich unexpectedly calling on Putin to end the war, which he says is failing and costing many Russians their lives. Shulga later speaks in support.

Vasyukevich begins speaking approximately 1 hour 59 minutes into the clip:

According to a translation by Insider, he said: “If our country does not stop the military operation, the number of orphans in our country will increase.

“During the military operation, young people lose their lives or become disabled. These young people could have been very useful to our country.

β€œIt has been almost three months and it is not possible to achieve success through war. The continuation of the military operation will lead to an increase in the number of dead and wounded servicemen. We demand the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.”

Other meeting officials attempted to arrest Vasyukevich, shouting above him that he was speaking without permission and that the war was not the subject of the meeting.

According to Radio Free Europe and Russian newspaper Kommersant, Primorsky Krai Governor Oleg Kozhemyako called the men traitors and ordered their dismissal.

The insider was unable to verify if the men were indeed abducted.

Anatoly Dolgachev, the Communist Party leader in the Primorsky Krai assembly, said the party would punish Vasyukevich and Shulga with “the harshest measures”, according to Russia’s BBC.

Vladimir Putin seen at a pro-war rally in Moscow on Friday March 18.

Vladimir Putin seen at a pro-war rally in Moscow in March.Getty Images

Dolgachev said they “discredit the honor of the Communist Party with such statements”.

Neither Vasyukevich Shulga, nor even the entire assembly of the Primorsky Krai, has any direct influence on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, the intervention was a surprisingly rare example of public dissent from politicians in Russia, where virtually every official and state media vocally supports the war.

The Moscow Times reported that two other cases allegedly took place.

Russians also rarely receive accurate information about the conflict in Ukraine.

Information about military casualties is suppressed, while it is illegal for the media to report anything contrary to the official narrative, including evidence of massacres of civilians by Russian forces.

It is also illegal to call the attack on Ukraine an invasion or a war.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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