Prominent Russian opposition figure advocates for a new president to repair European relations.

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Russian Opposition Figure Boris Nadezhdin Calls for Presidential Change on State TV

Boris Nadezhdin, a well-known critic of Vladimir Putin and a representative in the Moscow municipal assembly, has taken a bold step by openly urging the Russian nation to elect a president other than Putin. Nadezhdin made these remarks during an appearance on the popular talk show Mesto Vstrechi, which airs on the state-backed NTV network known for promoting conspiracy theories and false claims about Ukraine.

Amid attempts by the show’s host to interrupt him, Nadezhdin asserted that as long as the Putin government remained in power, Russia would have “no way” of reconnecting with Europe. He emphasized the upcoming presidential election and called for the selection of a different leader, not Putin.

The exchange on the talk show was shared on Twitter by Ukrainian government advisor and social media personality Anton Gerashchenko. While the host acknowledged Nadezhdin’s history of criticizing the Putin government’s actions regarding the invasion of Ukraine, these latest remarks mark a significant escalation. It may be the first time an opposition figure has openly called for Putin’s replacement on state-approved TV since the start of the conflict in Ukraine.

The British Ministry of Defence commented on the situation, stating that Russia has witnessed a level of limitations on freedom of speech not seen since the Soviet era over the past 15 months. However, they also noted that the recent bold rhetoric by nationalist figures, such as Yevgeny Prigozhin, owner of the Wagner Group private military firm involved in the invasion of Ukraine, may be emboldening opposition figures to challenge the established taboo.

Prigozhin has been vocal in his criticism of the Kremlin’s handling of the conflict and faced speculation that he might use his forces in a coup against Putin. He even claimed that Kremlin officials were suppressing reporting on him and his group in state media due to his outspokenness. Referring to the Wagner Group, Prigozhin emphasized that they were not easily manipulated, stating, “Wagner is an awl, a stiletto that you cannot hide.”

The call for a new president by a prominent opposition figure on state TV demonstrates the evolving landscape in Russia, where restrictions on free speech and increasing criticism from nationalist figures are challenging established norms and potentially influencing public discourse.

SOURCE: Ref – By Andrew Naughtie

Images: Google images ( the guardian)

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