The Russian Interior Ministry has placed Sergei Medvedev, an MP at the Perm City Duma, who called Putin a “monster” and spoke out against the war in Ukraine, on an international wanted list, according to a report by the Telegram channel Pogony I Galstuki (“Epaulettes and ties”) and the publication Ura.ru citing an unnamed source in law enforcement. The crime for which Medvedev has been declared wanted remains unclear.
“I do not confirm the information about me leaving Russia. I don't want to say where I am now. The only thing I can say is that I am on the planet Earth.”
He also mentioned that he had already been summoned by the local police, but that he had not yet made up his mind whether he would oblige:
“Yesterday a girl from the Leninsky District Police [Station] called and asked me to come up [there] with the phrase ‘you know what case [this is about].’ I told her that I’ll think about the safety of these proceedings and would inform [them] of my decision,” — commented Medvedev.
On December 31, the MP published a post on his private account on the social network VK, a screenshot of which was made available to the Perm 36.6 Telegram channel. In it, he writes that he wants to “see Russia free from Putin's fetters”:
“Let the monster who unleashed this massacre die. Let cruel punishment befall those guilty of hundreds of thousands of ruined lives! It's terrible to see what Russia has become. Deceived people, mad in their anger, wake up! Russia, wake up! You are being killed!
It is horrible to realize that the monster behind this is going to the polls again. I want the war to end. I want to see Russia free from putin's shackles.”
Putin's name in the post was notably spelled in lowercase letters — an approach often used by those wishing to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine's National Commission of Language Standards officially allowed all Russia-related words (“Russia,” “Russian Federation,” “Russian Empire,” “Moscow,” and others) to be written in lowercase in September last year.
In a comment for the publication Zvezda, Medvedev explained that he could no longer remain silent. “My post is aimed at saving the lives of the boys who are there [at the war in Ukraine]. This is something to think about. The situation should be resolved diplomatically,” the MP said.
On January 11, Medvedev was expelled from the CPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation). Two days later, on January 13, he was also ousted from the Communist faction in the Perm City Duma. Ksenia Aitakova, head of the CPRF’s regional committee, said that “competent authorities” would “deal” with Medvedev after his expulsion from the party and the local parliament.