Who should represent Russia at the Peace Summit in Switzerland – opinion

Putin’s visit to Belarus went as expected. He didn’t just suggest, but directly said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s legitimacy ended on May 21.

Moreover, [Belarusian dictator Alexander] Lukashenko supported this idea, saying there are some legal inconsistencies, which should be “verified.” This is a manifestation of the information warfare ahead of the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is absolutely right when he says that this is one of the elements to disrupt the conference.

Here the Russians repeat our thesis when we declared that Putin is an illegitimate president. And the world has somehow half-heartedly picked up on this idea that Putin is illegitimate. We just need to popularize this thesis more, and I think there are, as they say, no limits to this, but we need to do it methodically and proactively. Continuing this topic about the [upcoming] Swiss summit, I would like to offer an idea.

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The so-called Russian political opposition gathered in Ukraine’s Lviv a few days ago. They talked about the right things and adopted some documents. Better than nothing, but far from what should be adopted, when it comes to political opposition. That is, look: the Chinese say they don’t want to attend the summit because Russia won’t be there. Here, you see, Russia has gathered in Lviv — progressive, liberal, which will build the “beautiful Russia of the future.” Why not invite a delegation of the Russian opposition to the Peace Summit in Switzerland? We could even invite the cold, distant Snow Queen, who projects a powerful image (she will refuse, of course). I’m talking about Yulia Navalnaya [widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny]. You see, here we must take unorthodox steps and say: look, this is Russia, while the one [centered] in the Kremlin is illegitimate. And once again talk about Putin’s illegitimacy at this forum, saying these are the people who represent the real Russia, the Russia that can eventually become more or less decent.

And what’s more, there are enslaved peoples there. I won’t reveal any secret that we have representatives of these peoples in Kyiv, and they periodically gather for various discussions, think what should be done and how to build the future. Can’t we give the floor to representatives of Tatarstan, or Ichkeria, or Bashkortostan, or Yakutia at such a forum? Of course we can. Here’s the answer to someone’s illegitimacy. We just need to push forward.

Read also: Zelenskyy: Putin applauds Biden’s absence at Switzerland Summit

Of course, representatives of the Russian opposition are all different, but let’s imagine, purely hypothetically, that the Ukrainian authorities took this step and invited some representatives of the Russian opposition. I’m reproached this may cause a great wave of discontent in Ukraine itself. Because there’s no consensus within Ukraine, who we consider to be the real Russian opposition, whom we go along with, anyway. Someone says, let’s forget about all the people who have or had a Russian passport, while others say, no, there’s the Freedom of Russia Legion that is fighting for Ukraine. But in this case, it’s not about an internal political focus, but about an external one. We’re talking about a gathering in Switzerland. And for this forum, our internal, so to speak, discussions aren’t relevant. But for external use — why not?

I’ll argue further still. Do you remember what the Bolsheviks did when the Central Rada proclaimed the Ukrainian People’s Republic? They established some kind of puppet Bolshevik Ukrainian government in Kharkiv and started attacking Ukraine on its behalf. We can do the same. We could say: here they are, real Russian oppositionists. They’ve come to us themselves. They’re already staying in Lviv, in a city where Russians “are being eaten without salt,” [as Soviet-era jokes used to suggest].

In other words, the Ukrainian authorities ought to start thinking out of the box. And then we’ll be ahead. And then Putin will have to say that “no, they’re illegitimate, I’m legitimate.” Putin will make excuses. We must put him in a situation when he’s uncomfortable and must do something. Let him feel forced to explain himself.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine