Vladimir Putin facing rebellion as thousands join partisans planning assassinations

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun27,2024

A leading anti-Putin activist has told the Express that thousands of people are joining the partisan movement inside Russia.

He also said that Russian rebels wanted to carry out a programme of political assassinations, targeting more members of Putin’s regime.

Ilya Ponomarev, 48, is a former Russian MP who was the only member of parliament to vote against Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

He has since fled the country, and has become an active campaigner for the overthrow of Putin’s regime, arguing it can only be achieved through the use of force.

Russian partisans are one element of the plan to destroy the Putin regime, along with the Legion of Free Russia, that is fighting with Ukrainian forces against the Russian army.

Mr Ponomarev told the Express that new recruits were flooding into the ranks of the partisans.

“On the home front, the quantity of freedom fighters is already significantly higher than the number of people that are at the front (in Ukraine), but both numbers are growing,” he said.

“They’re not growing maybe to the scale that I would personally like to see, but already we are talking about thousands and thousands of people.”

The partisans have mainly attacked strategic targets, such as oil depots, military bases and transport infrastructure.

However they have also carried out a number of political assassinations against Putin propagandists.

Darya Dugina, daughter of the ultra-nationalist Aleksander Dugin, was killed in a car bomb in August 2022, while Vladlen Tatarsky died after an explosion in a Saint Petersburg cafe last year.

Both attacks were claimed by a shadowy network of partisans calling themselves the National Republican Army (NRA).

Mr Ponomarev claims to be a political spokesman for the group and said more assassinations would happen if the West gave its consent.

He argued that the US in particular was against such moves, which made it difficult for the partisans to carry out more assassinations.

“I do think that attacks on members of Putin’s elites are more impactful than attacks on the certain military bases or derailing certain trains,” he said.

“But here we have to do work because just on ourselves we are unable to carry out these activities inside Russia if we are not assisted by Ukrainians primarily.

“And Ukrainians have to listen to what Americans are saying and that’s the restriction. So the operations like Tatarsky, it was very much our own operation, but we cannot continue to do the same things.”

The Russian rebel is a member of the executive council of the Congress of People’s Deputies, which has 106 deputies.

It sees itself as a parliament-in-waiting that will become the highest organ of state power until new elections can be held in post-Putin Russia.

The Congress published a Victory Plan at its recent session in Warsaw over the weekend, calling on the West to support the violent overthrow of Putin’s regime.

The proposal will be presented at the 75th Nato summit in Washington early next month.

The document says: “The Kremlin has already unleashed a massive bloodshed that is killing hundreds of Russians on the front line every day, as well as numerous Ukrainians, both military and civilians.

“Therefore, the use of force against Putin’s murderers, their financiers and propagandists, is morally justified — [when] consistent with the internally recognised norms of warfare — and ­imperative for victory.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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