'Why should we trust him?' Putin’s propaganda running out of steam as Russians lose hope

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    The new face of the anti-Kremlin movement is pulling his whole weight behind a petition to force Vladimir Putin out of power. With Putin struggling to reenergise his war campaign, Dmitry Palyugan, a Russian deputy from the St Petersburgh municipal, is confident he can rally Russians behind his call. His appeal to the State Duma, he said, could be the tipping point that will remove Putin out of power.

    Explaining the purpose of his petition, Mr Palyuga said: “We want to unite people from different groups, because we have three large groups of people. 

    “The small one is pro-war. The other small one is anti-war. And the biggest one is people who are just waiting who will win. 

    “They don’t really have any opinion. They don’t trust anyone. That’s how Putin’s propaganda works.”

    Mr Palyuga said: “It demobilises people, it sends them a message that ‘you shoudn’t trust anyone’ – either Putin or other heads of government. 

    “I think that our petition, our appeal to the State Duma was written in the way to unite pro-war and anti-war activists, so they understand Putin is not good for their goals. 

    “But still, I am against this military operation and I think that if we get rid of Putin, it will immediately end. 

    “Because nobody is interested in it. There is no idea behind that that can bring people some profit.”

    READ MORE: Ex-Russian MP lifts the lid on Putin’s Ukraine war mobilisation

    The local councilor said he was overwhelmed by the level of support from Russians who have almost all reacted positively to his petition. 

    He said: “I believe that if we unite, we can make our lives. And I’m super optimistic right now, optimistic as I’ve never been since this military operation started, because I see a lot of support that I didn’t expect. If I see so much support, there will be some changes.”

    With 17 other local councils, Mr Pelyuga’s district have signed a petition demanding the State Duma to charge Putin with high treason and trigger impeachment proceedings. 

    The Russian Constitution states one third of Russians MPs must approve a motion to indict President Putin. If the motion is approved, then two thirds of MPs in each chamber of Parliament would need to vote for the motion to kick Putin out of power. 

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