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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Russian lawmaker who refused to stand for draft anthem

A Russian lawmaker who refused to stand when the Russian anthem began playing received a summons to fight in Ukraine.

Alexander Lependin, deputy of the Maloyaroslavets district assembly of Russia’s Kaluga region, remained seated when the “State Anthem of the Russian Federation” was played during a session last month. He told local news outlets that his legs were tired after a training session.

The officer was then ordered to go to a local military registration and recruitment office.

Hundreds of thousands of Russians were ordered to report for military service after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization decree on September 21.

Conscription is said to target reservists and ex-servicemen with “certain military specialties and relevant experience,” but those who cannot be called up, including students, have also been falsely called upon to serve in Ukraine.

Lependin told Gazeta.ru that he declared himself unfit for work on March 15 and expects a decision on the matter to be made within a month.

The MP told the news outlet he didn’t get up because he had worked excessively in the gym the day before and his legs hurt. He also said that none of his colleagues made any comments about him at the time.

“Not a single one in the audience was outraged, didn’t pull me up, didn’t ask if everything was okay,” he told RBC.

Vyacheslav Parfyonov, the head of the Maloyaroslavets district administration, said that the Lependin would also be held accountable in court. He told Rise newspaper that a parliamentary ethics committee would look into what happened and “make any decision.”

Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian politician who has been the head of Russia-annexed Crimea since 2014, proposed stripping citizenship of those who don’t stand up for the Russian anthem.

“I consider it necessary to raise the issue of deprivation of citizenship when documenting a case of not standing up to the Russian anthem. Why do you need citizenship if you don’t stand up, the symbols of the state – the Flag – not respected?, the anthem,” Aksyonov was quoted as saying by state news agency RIA Novosti.

Last October, Dmitry Baltrukov, a 43-year-old city deputy from Smolninskoye in St. Petersburg, received a subpoena after appealing to the country’s parliament to remove Putin from power on charges of treason.

He and other MPs in the area called for Putin to be removed from power over the Ukraine war.

Baltrukov tells news week at the time when staff from the Military Registration and Recruitment Bureau and police officers came to his home where his mother was to present him with a subpoena, even though he had no military experience.

Do you have a tip on a world news story that news week should cover? Do you have a question about the Russia-Ukraine War? Let us know at worldnews@latestpagenews.com.

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