Russian critic who urged Ukraine talks doesn’t fear arrest

Sep 12, 2022, 6:47 PM | Updated: Sep 13, 2022, 10:15 am

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian politician who made waves by questioning Russia’s strategy in Ukraine on national television said Tuesday he spoke the truth and does not fear punishment under new laws against discrediting soldiers and spreading fake news about the conflict.

The remarks by Boris Nadezhdin, a former liberal member of Russia’s parliament, came as Russian forces retreated from much of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

During a talk show on state-controlled NTV on Sunday, Nadezhdin said Russian President Vladimir Putin was misled by intelligence services that apparently told him the resistance in neighboring Ukraine would be brief and ineffective.

Nadezhdin also called for fighting to end and negotiations to begin.

Russian officials in recent weeks have repeatedly accused Ukraine of being unwilling to negotiate, but they have also put forth draconian terms. Former President Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that Russia would demand total capitulation.

In a Tuesday interview with The Associated Press, Nadezhdin said negotiations on a cease-fire “are possible always and everywhere.” But he said resolving issues such as the status of the separatist regions in Ukraine and of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, would be far more difficult.

“Negotiations on these issues? They are now absolutely unrealistic, because there is a position like this: ‘We will defeat you. No, we will defeat you,'” he said.

Nadezhdin’s televised comments over the weekend were notable because of Russia’s moves to stifle criticism of its sending troops into Ukraine. Days after the operation started, parliament approved legislation that outlawed alleged disparaging of the Russian military or the spread of “false information” about the operation in Ukraine.

OVD-Info, a legal aid group that tracks political arrests in Russia, has counted 90 criminal cases on charges of spreading false information about the Russian military since Feb. 24.

“I have definitely not violated any Russian laws,” Nadezhdin told the AP. “There was not a single fake at all, not a single fake in what I said. There was a statement of absolutely obvious facts.”

Nadezhdin has occasionally appeared on state-controlled TV and radio in the past as one of a few liberals who serve “effectively as whipping boys,” said Abbas Gallyamov, an independent political analyst and former speechwriter for Putin.

Gallyamov said he has noticed, however, “that the Kremlin’s control over the content shown on Russian TV has been weakening. But any system will weaken if it does not have a ready plan of action in crisis situations. Discipline is clearly being eroded.”

The pullback of troops from the Kharkiv region and Ukraine’s counteroffensive in Russian-held parts of the southern Kherson region have raised concerns that Russia is faltering.

The leader of the Communist Party, the country’s second-biggest political grouping, called Tuesday for a general mobilization to boost the military’s manpower and for the conflict to be openly called a war. Russian officials have insisted the actions in Ukraine must be called a “special military operation.”

“War and a special operation are fundamentally different. You can stop the special operation; you cannot stop the war, even if you want to,” Russian news media quoted party leader Gennady Zyuganov as saying.

“Maximum mobilization of forces and resources is required.” he said.

Mild criticism of Putin is also emerging.

Seven members of a local council in St. Petersburg last week called on the national Parliament to bring treason charges against Putin because of the Ukraine conflict. Five of them have been charged with discrediting the army.

A local council in Moscow last week passed a resolution calling on Putin to resign.

“The rhetoric that you and your subordinates are using has been riddled with intolerance and aggression for a long time, which in the end effectively threw our country back into the Cold War era,” the Moscow council said. “Russia has again begun to be feared and hated.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Seattle non-profits...

Associated Press

Oregon man convicted of murder in fatal shooting of sheriff’s deputy in Washington state

A jury has convicted an Oregon man of murder in the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in Washington state.

3 hours ago

Image: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on Monday, Sept...

Associated Press

Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire

A judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House.

17 hours ago

FILE - The Amazon logo is displayed, Sept. 6, 2012, in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon's profitable clo...

Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon sued by FTC and 17 states over allegations it inflates online prices and overcharges sellers

The FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday, alleging the e-commerce behemoth uses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices

23 hours ago

KYIV, UKRAINE - 2022/09/03: A man looks at an image generated based on the stories of displaced chi...

Associated Press

Tech companies try to take AI image generators mainstream with better protections against misuse

Artificial intelligence tools that can conjure whimsical artwork or realistic-looking images from written commands started wowing the public last year. But most people don't actually use them at work or home.

1 day ago

Image: Actor David McCallum attends an event for "NCIS" during the 2009 Monte Carlo Television Fest...

Associated Press

David McCallum, star of hit series ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ and ‘NCIS,’ dies at 90

Actor David McCallum, who was the eccentric medical examiner in the popular "NCIS," has died. He was 90.

2 days ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April...

Associated Press

Biden administration announces $600M to produce and distribute COVID tests

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is providing $600 million in funding to produce new at-home COVID-19 tests and is restarting a website allowing Americans to again order up to four free tests per household

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Russian critic who urged Ukraine talks doesn’t fear arrest