Uncontrollable violence is spreading in Russia. We need to act (STATEMENT)

Protests continue in Russia after the Kremlin’s decision to mobilize men. The announced partial “mobilization” is de facto a roundup of everyone. The whole world saw pictures of increasingly brutal arrests of protesters in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Tomsk and other cities.


However the poorest and minority regions are paying the highest price for Putin’s illegal war. September 25 in Dagestan and Yakutia were massive spontaneous demonstrations against the mobilization. In the Kumyk village of Endirei and in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, police fired shots into the air in an attempt to frighten demonstrators. On September 22 several dozen Chechen women protested near the main mosque in Grozny and were immediately detained. It was the first protest in recent years in a republic controlled by totalitarian methods. On Monday, September 26, a conscript severely wounded the chairman of the local conscript commission in Ust-Ilimsk.


We follow processes are not isolated. Resistance is growing, including in regions that have not yet actively opposed the Kremlin’s policies.


Communicating our solidarity with the protesters, most of whom are women, we want to pay attention to the fact that the internal situation in Russia is getting out of control.


As an organization that constantly monitors processes in Russia we have heard opinions that the internal struggle in the country will inevitably escalate into uncontrolled violence. We are watching events right now clarify dangerously close to this forbidding scenario.


Russian opposition politicians have shown over the past seven months that they cannot take responsibility and offer the Russians an alternative plan. Therefore we believe that it is necessary to promote the unification of representatives of civil society, democratically oriented local and regional leaders who have a real weight in their communities.


We believe that both the international community and local leaders must now do everything in their power to prevent the spread of violence in Russia.


Kremlin usurpers have opened Pandora’s box and are no longer able to control the situation in the country. It also threatens the European Union, which has a direct border with Russia.


That is why we appeal to decision-makers in Poland and the EU. Now we have a real chance to influence the political processes inside Russia. To do this we have to answer fundamental questions: is Russian society our partner in the war with the Kremlin? If yes, do we want the “Russian rebellion” to be democratic and not lead to more authoritarianism? If we choose the first option, then today we need an action strategy that we do not see yet. If we choose the second option, we must be aware of the responsibility for the crisis, including the humanitarian one, which will begin on a huge territory. From which it is impossible to separate by any wall as the events on the Polish-Belarusian border showed.


Today is the time to act. Because today the history of Russia is speeding up.


Association „Za Wolną Rosję”


Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

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