Putin Opponent Calls for Ukraine Ceasefire to Stop Bloodshed

By Brendan Cole

Prominent Russian opposition politician Grigory Yavlinsky has said there must be an immediate ceasefire in the war in Ukraine to avoid further bloodshed and warned that if fighting continued, Kyiv risked losing everything it has achieved so far.

Yavlinsky expressed the view in an op-ed for the publication Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian-language news outlet. His article has been criticized by some on social media who have said he is effectively calling for Ukraine to surrender.

But speaking to Newsweek from Moscow, Yavlinsky, the founder of the Yabloko party said “a ceasefire is absolutely necessary, then we will start all kinds of talks.”

“The situation is such that it would have never any kind of end because there is no possibility for any victory from both sides, so it’s endless. Ukraine has achieved a lot and paid the price for that already, and now it’s such a situation that the continuation of the war can destroy all this because the devastation would be enormous,” he said.

Born in Lviv, in western Ukraine, Yavlinsky, 70, is the founder of social-liberal party Yabloko, the federal political committee of which he chairs. He twice ran against Vladimir Putin in Russia’s presidential elections.

He finished third in 2000 and gained just over one percent of the official tally in the 2018 ballot. He also ran against Boris Yeltsin in 1996 when he finished fourth. He was blocked from running in the 2012 ballot, despite reaching the required two million signatures required by law.

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Despite facing serious restrictions on its operations amid a Kremlin crackdown on opposition voices, Yabloko performed creditably in the Moscow municipal elections in September 2022, gaining 16 percent of the vote in the Russian capital.

Although the party does not have MPs in the State Duma, it has deputies in four regional parliaments—Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Pskov region and Karelia.

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