Ex-Russian officials meet to prepare for post-Putin future
Former Russian Parliament members, opposition politicians, ex-officials and social activists have convened for an anti-Putin congress in the village of Jabłonna, central Poland.
The Russian opposition is readying for a post-Putin Russia.Shutterstock/Alexander Khitrov
The group consisting of around 65 ex-lawmakers, who unlike Putin’s present-day partisans obtained their mandates legitimately, closed ranks in the resistance to the rule in Russia and the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine.
“Putin’s days are numbered but we don’t know when it will happen,” Kyiv-based Russian oppositionist Ilya Ponomarev said at the beginning of the get-together in Jabłonna, some 20 kilometres from Poland’s capital, Warsaw.
Organisers of the event drafted a document that would appoint former Russian Parliament deputies as members of the so-called “Transition Period Parliament.”
In line with the act, they would take the responsibility for the country during the time after Putin gets overthrown and before the first free election is held.
“It’s obvious that after Ukraine wins, Russia will be subject to irreversible processes,” Russian dissident Alexei Baranovsky told Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita.
“That’s why we’re setting in motion the establishment of alternative state bodies, which we’ll be able to take the helm when Putin gets toppled,” added Baranovsky, who was also one of the organisers of the meeting in Poland.
The most heated discussions concerned how Putin should be removed from power and what measures can be taken to end the war in Ukraine.
“The ultimate deposition of Putin is a task for international courts and tribunals,” said Lyudmila Kotesova, who served as a Russian senator in the years 1994 to 1996.
Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Honcharenko joined the congress online and outlined two objectives for the Russian dissidents in exile.
“Task number one for the Russian opposition is to find some military officer who will be able to eliminate Putin, and task number two is to form an army to take control of Russian territory,” Honcharenko said.
In attendance at the meeting was also Poland’s former deputy prime minister and ex-minister of finance, Leszek Balcerowicz, who addressed the gathering in Russian.
„Your session is essential for Russia, but not only. Also for its neighbours, including Poland, Europe and the world,” he said.
He underlined the importance of embracing a “professional and attractive economic programme,” with particular reference to anti-corruption policies.
The meeting, however, was ignored by part of the opposition groups associated with two of the most vocal Putin critics, Alexei Navalny and Garry Kasparov.