The Russian Communist Party has suspended two regional MPs in the far eastern region of Primorye, around the port city of Vladivostok. The two parliamentarians had called for an end to the war in Ukraine. That wrote the newspaper Kommersant on Wednesday.
Their appeal generated a lot of international attention because it showed that there is also resistance to the war within Russian politics.
“These MPs have discredited the party with their appeal, so there is no place for them in our ranks anymore,” said Anatoly Dolgachev, the head of the party faction in the regional parliament. At a parliament session last week, a member of parliament read a statement calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the “special military operation” as the war is described by the Russian government. Another MP supported the call.
The regional government and the Communist Party leader accused the MP of treason and threatened sanctions.
It is not clear whether the two MPs will receive other sentences in addition to their suspension. The Russian government has tightened laws on domestic protests against the war since the invasion of Ukraine in late February. That has already resulted in 50 criminal cases and hundreds of fines for false reporting and “discrediting” the Russian military.