Viktor Kamenshchikov has not appeared in Duma meetings since the end of February.
Russian politician who opposed his nation's invasion of Ukraine has been detained at the US-Mexico border, Newsweek reported citing RIA Novosti. Viktor Kamenshchikov, who is a former member of the Communist Party and who served as a deputy at the Vladivostok Duma (Parliament) in the administrative centre of the Primorsky in the Russian far east, was detained presumably for illegally crossing the border.
As per Newsweek, Mr Kamenshchikov is listed as an “active deputy”, however, he has not appeared at Duma meetings since the end of February when he publicly opposed the invasion of Ukraine known in Russia as a “special military operation”. On February 27, the 31-year-old even filed an application to leave the Communists after his party recognised the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.
Back then, Mr Kamenshchikov had reportedly said, “I do not agree with the position of the party leadership" in its support for the "military operations in Ukraine and the use of Russian troops on the territory of a neighbouring state." He added, “I am against the war in principle”.
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In the following days, the Russian politician then claimed that political leaders, including those from his party, deceived deputies into voting for a military invasion. Mr Kamenshchikov claimed that Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov and the late ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LPDR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky knew about President Vladimir Putin's war plans in advance.
It is to mention that Russians who oppose the ongoing war in Ukraine risk arrest and imprisonment. The Russian parliament passed a law whereby citizens who spread what it described as “fake” information about the military can be jailed for up to 15 years.
However, Mr Kamenshchikov had said that most Russians don't understand that by keeping silent, they increase their own long-term losses. As per Newsweek, he said that any failure to express opposition to the war by people, “means that they are for it” and that they and Russia will have to pay for “5,10, 20 years for all the horror that is happening today”. "Don't call me a hero because I defiantly left the party," he said.
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Meanwhile, referring to Mr Kamenshchikov's detention at the US-Mexico border, Anatoly Dolgachev, the first secretary of the Communist Party's Primorsky regional branch, reportedly stated that for a communist, the last thing to do is to flee to the United States, whose imperialist policy the party opposes.