‘I despise the Russian government’s leadership. ‘We kept our preparations to launch a full-scale war under wraps’: Russian legislators who voted to recognize separatist pockets in Ukraine are now condemning Putin’s invasion of the country on a large scale.
Three members of Russia’s Duma legislature have spoken out against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country.
They stated that they did not anticipate military action as a result of their vote in support of the leader.
Dissent is spreading in Russia, with more than 6,000 people jailed in protests since the beginning of the year.
Russian legislators who voted to recognize the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk have since stated that they regret their decision and have opposed Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the two Ukrainian provinces.
The number of people who oppose the war is growing not only on the streets of Russia, where hundreds have been imprisoned during rallies, but also in the Russian parliament, where opposition against the leader is rare.
There have been three members of the Communist Party, which has traditionally remained faithful to Putin on crucial matters, who have come out against the military action, claiming they were unaware of what they were voting for.
According to Vyacheslav Markhaev, a senator from Siberia, Putin “concealed preparations to unleash a full-scale war with our closest neighbor,” according to a post on Facebook.
He made his remarks in response to those made by two of his party colleagues who had spoken out against the invasion.
“As a Russian scholar, I am persuaded that military action should only be employed in politics as a last resort,” Oleg Smolen said of the invasion. “I am appalled by it.”
In order to avoid betraying myself, I was unable to vote in favor of the recognition of the DPR and the LPR of Ukraine.
Another Samara resident, Mikhail Matveyev, begged for the battle to be halted, stating in a now-deleted tweet: ‘I choose peace over war.’ ‘For Russia to act as a shield, so that Donbas does not come under attack, and for Kyiv not to come under attack.’
Markhaev claimed that members of Russia’s Duma, the country’s lower house of the Federal Assembly, were unaware that their vote would result in a full-scale invasion.
‘It is heartbreaking to watch what is occurring in Ukraine, and it pains the soul to think about where our world, and the entire world’s participation, can go.’
In order to prevent them from going extinct, we required acknowledgement of their independence from both China and Russia. ” It was anticipated that this would open the door to the prospect of further negotiations and the development of fresh concessions in order to resolve all rough corners.
The entire Campaign in Recognition of the DPR and the LPR, to my great sadness, had a completely different purpose and plan, which was first concealed from the public, and as a consequence, we were in the midst of a full-scale clash and war between the two countries.
Losing colleagues, colleagues, coworkers, ordinary young and promising people, as well as friends, is a sad experience. When they gaze into the eyes of their parents, children, and other loved ones, it is excruciatingly painful.’
‘I oppose the West’s unreasonable tactics, their double standards policies, advancing their own interests through a change of lawful power in nations that do not fit their goals, and seizing additional territory under the guise of preserving democracy,’ he stated.
‘I also criticize the leadership of Russia, which has begun to employ the same double standards that have been used in the past. The DPR and LPR have been recognized, and we have secret intentions to unleash a full-scale war against our closest neighbor under the guise of recognition.’
An online petition to end the war, which was established shortly after the invasion was announced on Thursday, has collected more than 1 million signatures, making it the most widely-supported internet petition in Russia in recent years, according to the organization Human Rights Watch.
As of the first day of the attack, Russians in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and dozens of other cities have taken to the streets to express their outrage – only to be caught by police in a short period of time, with some being held violently by police.
On Monday, the OVD-Info human rights organization, which keeps track of political detentions, reported that at least 350 protestors had been detained in 13 Russian towns.
According to OVD-Info, more than 6,000 individuals have been detained during the protests that have taken place over the previous five days.
In an effort to stifle critical voices, Russian authorities have restricted access to Facebook, which has played an important role in amplifying dissent. Internet users also reported problems with accessing Twitter.
Russian officials have also pressured the media to cover the invasion in strict accordance with the official line and have bemoaned the reports that described Russia’s attack on Ukraine as an ‘invasion’ or ‘a war’ as untrue.
The website of the Current Time, a Russian TV channel launched by the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that has been critical of the Kremlin, became unavailable Sunday after the channel reported receiving a notification from the authorities.
‘I have two sons and I don’t want to give them to that bloody monster,’ Dmitry Maltsev, 48, who joined the rally in St. Petersburg, told The Associated Press. ‘War is a tragedy for all of us.’
Protests also took place in Belarus, where more than 500 people were detained on Sunday, according to the country’s most prominent human rights group.
The Viasna human rights center said demonstrations were held in at least 12 cities, including Minsk, the capital. Demonstrators placed flowers on a growing pile outside the Ukrainian Embassy.
It comes as Russia’s ministry of defence said today it was going to strike sites it said belong to Ukraine’s security forces and special operations units in Kyiv, warning civilians who live near the buildings to evacuate.
There are fears that Russia is about to massively step up its assault on Ukraine including on its major cities using heavy and indiscriminate bombardments, after attempts at using more-sophisticated tactics yielded a series of embarrassing setbacks for Putin’s forces in the opening days of the conflict.
In other parts of Ukraine, Russia appeared to be employing siege tactics today as the city of Mariupol, in the country’s south, came under ‘constant shelling’ by Russian forces, who used artillery, Grad rockets, and fighter jets to target civilian areas such as schools and homes, resulting in a large number of deaths, many of them women and children, according to local media.
Although power to the city, which is in risk of being surrounded by Russian forces, has been cut, according to area director Pavlo Kyrylenko on Tuesday, it continues to be under Ukrainian control.
Today, Russian soldiers launched missiles against civilian buildings on the outskirts of Kherson, a strategic city in southern Ukraine with a bridge over the Dnieper River. Troops were also seen moving through the streets, indicating that the city was under attack.
The eastern city of Kharkiv was hit again today, with a big rocket falling in front of the civilian public administration building, causing extensive damage to the interior. As many as ten people were murdered and more than twenty others were injured in the attack, which happened just a day after the city was hit by cluster bombs, which killed at least 11 people and injured dozens more.
According to the Ukrainian envoy to the United Nations, a thermobaric “vacuum bomb” was also deployed against his country, however he could not specify when or where this occurred.
President Volodymyr Zelensky today described the Kharkiv bombing as a ‘terrorist’ strike and Russia as a ‘terrorist state,’ while renewing calls for a probe into possible war crimes. The head prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague has stated that an investigation will be launched ‘as soon as is reasonably possible’.
In the two days after Russia began its assault, the number of civilian deaths has risen dramatically, with Ukrainian authorities reporting 352 civilian deaths since the beginning of the invasion, including 14 children.