Given Poland’s prominence in NATO, only surpassed by the US, we should expect that this government in waiting has the US/NATO seal of approval.
Globe and Mail Russian dissidents in Poland clash as they try to plot a future without Putin
The group, called the People’s Deputies of Russia, has drafted a new constitution and developed plans to hold elections for a newly formed parliament.
They also want Russia to join NATO and the European Union as soon as possible, and they’ve proposed laws that would return all land seized in Ukraine since 2014 and offer Kyiv compensation for war damage.
They even voted to change the name of their homeland to the Russian Republic from the Russian Federation.
The meeting in Warsaw – over a round table surrounded by white-blue-white flags used by the Russian opposition – was the group’s second congress. They plan to hold another session in May to finalize their plans.
The organizers took pains to point out that all the delegates had extensive experience in government and political institutions. Most of them have served in various elected positions; a handful joined online from Russia where they are still sitting councillors. Many kept their cameras off and microphones on mute for security reasons.
Ms. Filchenko was a councillor from 2017 to 2022 in a regional government that includes central Moscow. Last September she was among 18 municipal politicians from the capital and St. Petersburg who signed an open letter calling on Mr. Putin to resign.
“We, the municipal deputies of Russia, believe that the actions of its president Vladimir Putin are detrimental to Russia’s and its citizens’ future,” the letter said.
It was a remarkable and dangerous public rebuke. In an interview during the congress, Ms. Filchenko said almost everyone who signed the letter had to leave the country “because of the danger to be prosecuted.” She stayed as long as she could but felt compelled to go earlier this year after she was banned from running for office.
So, she said?
And they come with their own built in destabilizing force too!
The group’s ties to a military unit called the Free Russia legion have also been controversial and it’s not clear what role it would have in the new political framework.
The legion is made up of Russian volunteers who are fighting alongside the Ukrainian army. (Mercenaries obviously. Undoubtedly lots of ISIS)
A legion soldier who uses the call name Caesar is a member of the People’s Deputies executive, and he addressed the Warsaw meeting with a call to arms. “Unfortunately, the forms of non-violent struggle against the regime have completely exhausted themselves,” he told the group.
Ilya Ponomarev, a former Russian MP who helped found the People’s Deputies, made no apologies for the organization’s ties to the legion.
During a break last week, Mr. Ponomarev said he believed a leadership change in Moscow will only come after a military defeat in Ukraine. “That means that whoever would come to the power is the one which has military capacity. We’re the only people who have that,” he added
“We want to truly reset the country,” he said. “We think that the Russian Federation is politically bankrupt. It discredited itself. It started aggression. It transformed itself into a dictatorship. So we need to create a new culture.”