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St. Petersburg court fines municipal deputies who called for Putin’s removal

A St. Petersburg court has fined five of the municipal deputies who called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be charged with treason and removed from office. According to the legal aid organization Net Freedoms Project, the deputies were charged with “discrediting” the Russian army.

Dmitry Palyuga, who led the initiative, was fined 47,000 rubles ($788). His colleague Nikita Yuferev was fined 46,000 rubles ($771), while deputies Dmitry Baltrukov, Ivan Chebotar, and Anna Kiseleva were fined 44,000 rubles ($738) each.

On September 7, seven deputies from St. Petersburg’s Smolninsky District Council called on Russia's State Duma to bring treason charges against Vladimir Putin and remove him from office. The deputies cited Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, noting that it caused the deaths of “young, able-bodied” Russians and harmed the Russian economy.

Two days after the statement was issued, the deputies were summoned to the police station, where five of them were charged with “discrediting” the Russian army.

On September 13, the court ruled that St. Petersburg’s governor could dissolve the Smolninsky District Council on the grounds that it previously went three months without meeting.

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