Russian Lawmakers Who Demanded Putin Be Charged With Treason Summoned By Police

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Seven lawmakers in Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, have been summoned by the police after they demanded parliament's lower chamber, the State Duma, charge President Vladimir Putin with high treason over his decision to launch the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The seven lawmakers from St. Petersburg's Smolny municipal district received subpoenas via SMS late on September 8 ordering them to come to the police station the next day to fill out protocols on a charge of discrediting Russia's armed forces.

On September 7, the group sent an official letter to the State Duma demanding federal lawmakers initiate the ouster of Putin because, according to them, the ongoing war has damaged Russia's security.

The letter also said that the invasion led to the deaths of Russian soldiers, damaged the economy and economic conditions for the country's citizens, brought about NATO's expansion to Sweden and Finland, and militarized Ukraine through the assistance of other states.

The letter was sent to the Russian Security Council and leaders of five political factions in the State Duma.

In early March, Putin signed a law that calls for lengthy prison terms for distributing "deliberately false information" about Russian military operations as the Kremlin seeks to control the narrative about its war in Ukraine launched in late February.

It also makes it illegal "to make calls against the use of Russian troops to protect the interests of Russia" or "for discrediting such use" with a possible penalty of up to three years in prison.

The same provision applies to calling for sanctions against Russia.