Russian politician files legal challenge over Putin's reference to Ukraine "war"
"It's important for me to do this to draw attention to the contradiction and the injustice of these laws that he (Putin) adopts and signs but which he himself doesn't observe," he told Reuters.
"I think the more we talk about this, the more people will doubt his honesty, his infallibility, and the less support he will have." In his challenge, filed in an open letter, Yuferev asked the prosecutor general and interior minister to "hold (Putin) responsible under the law for spreading fake news about the actions of the Russian army".
Yuferev, who asked Reuters not to disclose his location, said Putin critics who publicly called the war a war have suffered harsh punishments. Opposition politician Ilya Yashin was jailed for 8-1/2 years this month for spreading "false information" about the army. In July another local councillor, Alexei Gorinov, was sentenced to seven years for criticising the invasion.
Yuferev said he had previously drawn authorities' attention to the use of the word "war" by other prominent figures including Sergei Kiriyenko, deputy head of the presidential administration, and leading lawmaker Sergei Mironov.
He said police told him they examined the complaint against Kiriyenko and found he had done nothing wrong, and refused to look into the Mironov case. After publishing the open letter about Putin, Yuferev said he had received hundreds of hate messages. But he said he believed the majority of Russians understood what was really happening in Ukraine.
"War, in Russian society, is a frightening word. Everyone is brought up by grandparents who lived through World War Two, everyone remembers the saying 'Anything but war'," he said.
(Reporting by Reuters; editing by John Stonestreet)