Pro-Western group calls for assassination campaign in Russia

Lazy eyes listen


A former Russian State Duma MP has claimed that he will pressure NATO leaders to assassinate members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and overthrow the Russian government, The Times reported on Wednesday.

The British newspaper spoke to Ilya Ponomarev, a self-styled representative of the “Russian resistance.” He outlined his plan to submit a document during the 75th NATO summit in Washington next month that justifies the use of force against those close to Putin.

Ponomarev, who lives in exile and claims that some serving Russian MPs are part of his movement, told The Times that the term ‘combatant’ should cover “government officials who organize or finance the war [with Ukraine], businessmen who produce arms, propaganda warmongers.” The targeted assassination of such people on Russian soil would then be legal, he argued.

The former politician claims to speak on behalf of Kiev-backed militant forces that staged incursions into Russian regions bordering Ukraine before the Russian presidential election in March. The groups also claimed credit for the murders of military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky and journalist Darya Dugina.

Moscow has described the cross-border raids as terrorist attacks conducted on Kiev’s orders. Russian investigators have also accused Ukrainian special services of masterminding the killings of Tatarsky and Dugina.

Earlier this month, Ponomarev described his supposed activities inside Russia to journalist Michael Moynihan of the Free Press. He claimed to have 10,000 sympathizers in the country, who allegedly do more than just posting anti-government messages on social media – a job that he dismissed as befitting the people of late opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

We’re doing something different. We’re involved in derailing the trains, in attacking refineries. There was the attack on the Kremlin dome,” Ponomarev alleged.

“If you have 5,000 armed and trained people, you can actually go and capture Moscow,” he argued, while lamenting that Western officials are reluctant to show public support for his cause.

“They like people who do, like, human rights things, maybe a little bit of counterpropaganda,” Ponomarev complained. “But those who have a real role in actual resistance and fighting for freedom – no, they prefer to keep out.”

Asked whether he was planning an assassination attempt against Putin, as implied by the title of his book – ‘Does Putin have to die?’ – Ponomarev declined to give a straight answer. Instead, he claimed that people close to Putin would not allow the Russian president “to survive to a fair trial.”