Tuesday, July 12, 2022

By Criticizing Putin’s War, Komi Deputy Becomes First Regional Legislator Listed as Foreign Agent

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 21 – Viktor Vorobyev, a KPRF deputy on the State Council of the Komi Republic, has condemned Putin’s war in Ukraine and for his action has been denounced by the leaders of all party fractions on the Council, including his own, and then listed by Moscow as a foreign agent and subjected to all the restrictions that involves.

            He thus becomes the first deputy in a regional parliament to be so classified, testimony not only to his own willingness to take risks but also to the tradition of his republic, many of whose citizens have protested against other Moscow plans, including dump for trash from elsewhere and the amalgamation of the republic with a Russian region.

            Vorobyev has not minced words. He says that Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is “an unjust and immoral war which will bring Russia nothing but blood, tears and poverty” completely without justification under international law (thebarentsobserver.com/ru/demokraticheskoe-obshchestvo/2022/06/odinokiy-politik-s-russkogo-severa-vystupaet-protiv-voyny).

            The deputy says his being listed as a foreign agent is wrong because he has never received any foreign financing and is not “an agent” for anyone except his constituents. He says he will challenge in court this decision which he believes his political opponents in Komi sought (semnasem.org/articles/2022/04/22/eto-fars-i-politicheskoe-bessilie-pervyj-v-rossii-deputat-inoagent-iz-komi-viktor-vorobyov-o-naveshivanii-yarlyka-shpiona-i-popytke-lishit-ego-tribuny).

            But he faces legal problems himself. Roskomnadzor has brought charges against him for failing to alert those reading his social media accounts that he has been classified as “a foreign agent” (semnasem.org/news/2022/06/08/na-pervogo-v-rossii-deputata-inoagenta-sostavili-protokol-iz-za-otsutstviya-v-poste-metki-o-ego-statuse).

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