Politicians, scientists, journalists, and activists who left Russia called the war in Ukraine criminal, and demanded the elimination of the Putin regime and the release of political prisoners and prisoners of war.
According to a statement signed in Berlin by 68 members of the Russian opposition on 30 April, they have pledged their commitment to strategic goals, including ending aggression against Ukraine and creating a free, lawful, and federal Russia. The signatories believe it is necessary to strengthen coordination of their actions and adhere to the following fundamental positions:
- “The war against Ukraine is criminal.” Russian troops must withdraw from all occupied territories, internationally recognized Russian borders must be restored, war criminals must face trial, and victims of aggression must receive compensation.
- “Putin’s regime is illegitimate and criminal.” As a result, it must be dismantled. The opposition envisions Russia as a country that guarantees individual rights and freedoms, with no possibility of usurping state power.
- The implementation of imperial policies within the country and beyond is unacceptable.
- Political prisoners and prisoners of war must be released, forcibly displaced persons must have the opportunity to return, and abducted Ukrainian children must be immediately returned to Ukraine.
- The signatories express solidarity with those Russians who, despite horrific repression, have the courage to adopt anti-Putin and anti-war positions, as well as with the tens of millions who refuse to participate in the regime’s crimes.
The signatories of the declaration share the values of a democratic society, respectful communication, recognition of human rights and freedoms, principles of diversity and equality, and the rejection of discrimination. The signatories commit to refraining from public conflicts within the anti-war and democratic movements.
Among the signatories to the document are exiled politicians Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Dmitry Gudkov, Ilya Ponomarev, and Leonid Gozman, political scientists Kirill Rogov and Ivan Preobrazhensky, entrepreneurs Yevgeny Chichvarkin and Boris Zimin, economists Sergei Guriev and Andrei Illarionov, lawyers Mark Feigin and Elena Lukyanova, gallery owner Marat Gelman, activists Yevgenia Chirikova and Anastasia Shevchenko, and representatives of Russian anti-war movements in various countries. The meeting of opposition activists was held at the initiative of Khodorkovsky and several other oppositionists living outside the Russian Federation.
As of publication time, the declaration was signed by over 12,000 people. However, representatives of Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation have not signed, sparking speculation about the reasons for this abstainment.