Konstantin Zatulin, first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, may be stripped of his post and expelled from United Russia after he said that Russia failed to achieve any of the goals of the “special operation” in Ukraine.
Consultations on this issue are already underway within United Russia, and Vyacheslav Makarov, first deputy head of the United Russia faction, is in charge of the consultations, according to Vedomosti, citing two sources within the party and an interlocutor close to the presidential administration. The latter noted that it’s too early to say what measures will be taken against Zatulin.
According to a source in the United Russia faction, Zatulin has a lot of claims piled up against him. In particular, in 2021 he spoke out against the bill on citizenship, which was introduced by President Vladimir Putin.
However, according to another source, all consultations about Zatulin’s speech may be limited to educational measures. “The faction leadership will have a word with Zatulin, so that he will speak more carefully from now on”, the source said.
On June 1 at the forum “What kind of Ukraine do we need?” Zatulin declared the failure of all the goals Putin had set before launching a full-scale invasion. “What were our goals, officially stated at the beginning of the military operation? You all remember: denazification, demilitarization, neutrality of Ukraine and protection of the inhabitants of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, who suffered all this time. On which of these points have we achieved results to date? None of them”, Zatulin said.
According to him, many of the goals have lost all meaning. “For example, the neutrality of Ukraine. What sense does it make to make this demand? None at the moment. It will not be neutral if it remains in existence”, the deputy noted. He also stressed that Russia will not succeed in capturing Ukraine because of its support from the West.
Zatulin himself told Vedomosti that no one had contacted him about his statement. “Why would I lose my position in the committee or be expelled from the faction? The faction leadership hasn’t said anything to me”, said Zatulin.
At the same time, in his telegram channel, he accused those who take his words out of context. “I spoke about the fact that at the moment the goals of the military special operation <…> have not been achieved. Why? Then to follow it up with what needs to be done in order to achieve these goals”, Zatulin noted.