What You Need To Know:
✓ “Putin says every day and every month that there are no Russian troops in Ukraine and we tried to show to Russian society that it's not true,” said Ilya Yashin, Russian opposition activist and politician;
✓ War in Ukraine has cost Russia $53 billion;
✓ According to Yashin, Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, should be a key witness to the murder of Boris Nemtsov.
“Putin says every day and every month that there are no Russian troops in Ukraine and we tried to show to Russian society that it's not true,” said Ilya Yashin, a Russian opposition activist and politician. Yashin and his colleagues have published a report, Putin. War, into Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict which they plan to distribute within Russia in an attempt to inform the population.
According to him, through this report they are trying to change Putin's politics by changing people's opinions. Yashin told Hromadske that they want to show people that Putin’s politics in Ukraine is damaging to Russia and its national interests. According to his rough estimates, war with Ukraine has cost the Russian budget alone 53 billion dollars.
Though Yashin admits being part of the opposition is dangerous, he believes that it is very important work for Russia’s future and to try to change what’s happening in Ukraine.
On the murder of his friend and Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, Yashin told Hromadske that the Russian opposition believe that the key witness in the case is Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic. However, they do not believe that any action will be taken against Kadyrov because of his power base within Russia. According to Yashin, Kadyrov is the only person in Russia who can talk with Putin on an equal level.
Hromadske International's Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke with Ilya Yashin on May 28, 2015.