The Another

    Russian opponents in exile seek to overcome their differences to pave the way for a post-Putin era



    A divided Russian opposition in exile is trying to unite to embody a legitimate representation and prepare for a post-Putin political situation. The first meeting of the Russian Democratic Club in France was held on Wednesday, May 24 in Paris, where many Russians have taken refuge since the invasion of Ukraine. About 30 representatives of the opposition discussed the overwhelming challenges facing them since the Russian offensive. The meeting was also attended by researchers, human rights activists and French MPs. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of the Russian anti-war committee, came to lend his support. “One hundred years ago, millions of thousands of Russians were again in exile because of power,” he recalled. “Stopping this war is the goal that units us all.”

    The example of exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya was mentioned on numerous occasions “She has been recognized by many as the elected president,” said Mark Feygin, a well-known lawyer and blogger. “We can create an active force, state openly that Crimea belongs to Ukraine – a stance that is far from popular in Russia – that there should be compensation for Ukrainians and that we should have relations with the West. This is urgent, because we’ ve been on the brink of nuclear war.”

    The fight against propaganda, the fate of political prisoners and that of the millions of thousands of Russians forced into exile since the invasion and start of military conscription were also raised. Among these exiles, “there are many suicides, families destroyed, trends of alcoholism and drug use,” The world was told by Gennady Gudkov, the former Duma MP and president of the NGO For Free Russia.

    Read more Article reserved for our subscribers Le Pen questioned for four hours about Russia ties by Parliament inquiry

    No Navalny stamp of approval

    This meeting was not the first of its kind. The Russia-Freedom Foundation, also present on Wednesday, already organizes regular meetings. But the Russian Democratic Club in France is much broader. “The objective is to create an informal platform to structure and coordinate all Russian democratic forces, because their role will be key in rebuilding a democratic Russia after the war,” said Gudkov, one of the political figures behind the creation of the club. The challenge is all the greater because the opposition, plagued by constant infighting, is struggling to speak with one voice. “The main obstacle is to do with personal ambitions, but, in substance, we have almost no political differences,” he tried to reassure.

    The main opposition groups, who met on April 30 in Berlin at a conference organized by Khodorkovsky, reached an agreement on five goals, listed in a declaration drawn up by the Russian democratic forces. This founding document clearly states that “the war against Ukraine is criminal,” that Russian troops “must be withdrawn immediately from all occupied territories” – including Crimea – that the Putin regime is “illegitimate and criminal” and that “the implementation of imperialist policy in Russia and abroad is unacceptable.”

    You have 39.99% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

    Source link