As it turned out, protesters in Khabarovsk, the city in far eastern Russia, have started collecting signatures under a petition for President Vladimir Putin’s resignation and for holding a new presidential election. The initiators of the motion call the loss of trust in the Russian President as the official reason for their demand.
So far, public’s attention has been directed either at the protest actions in Belarus continuing for exactly one month now, or at Alexei Navalny, the leader of Russia’s off-parliament opposition, who got into a real trouble. At first glance, it looks like he was intentionally poisoned. Seemingly, many people forgot that Russia has its own local “Belarus” with its own local opposition moods. This refers to Khabarovsk, where residents started taking to the streets more than a month ago, immediately after “people's governor” Sergei Furgal was arrested.
It is noteworthy that a lot has been already said about the motives of the federal center. In order to accommodate them, the case against Furgal was conjured up in record-short time. Additionally, the “comic behavior” of Mikhail Degtyarev, whom the Kremlin appointed acting governor of the Khabarovsk territory, has also received due assessment. Meanwhile, the Russian authorities, who apparently decided to put down rallies in Khabarovsk by taking them indifferently and by ignoring their existence, were hardly able to achieve their goal, especially since the Far East region still remains restless.
Moreover, the Russian federal center developed fright over a possibility of protest actions in neighboring Belarus spilling into Russia. This extrapolation might lead to even greater social discontent, as it did in Khabarovsk, for example. Recently, concerns of this kind have gradually begun to become true, as Khabarovsk residents have added not only statements supporting the protest actions in Belarus and Navalny to their mottos, but also a straightforward demand for Vladimir Putin’s resignation.
As it turned out, a petition demanding Putin's resignation is gaining momentum in Khabarovsk. Protesters in Khabarovsk, the city in far eastern Russia, have started collecting signatures under a petition to resign Vladimir Putin and to hold new elections. The initiators of petitioning call the loss of trust in the Russian President as the official reason for this requirement. Although most experts insist that the background of this situation is much deeper than it might seem at first glance.
Recall that Sergei Furgal received a huge support among the residents of the Khabarovsk region for a reason. During his tenure, he managed to bring to justice more than ten local deputies, the representatives of the United Russia ruling party. They were accused of embezzlement and abuse of office. After that Furgal took on one of the wealthiest officials, who was also a shareholder in Amurstal, an electric steel plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Khabarovsk territory. It looks like the line taken by Furgal became life-changing for him, since the authorities have decided to forestall further events, and Furgal himself is on the wrong side of the bar now.
Anyway, people continue supporting Furgal, despite the charges with a number of serious crimes, which the the Russian legal system has brought on against him. Meanwhile, Khabarovsk’s residents not only go on protesting but they launched a petition for Putin’s resignation. By the way, at the moment, 68,400 residents of the region have already signed this document. However, experts say that this petition will have no legal effect, since signatures are being collected only in one constituent territory of the Russian Federation. In any case, this story remains highly emblematic.