Just days after Russian officials in St. Petersburg and Moscow openly called on President Vladimir Putin to relinquish power, the number of lawmakers calling for the Russian leader’s ouster has risen to 65. This is according to Kseniya Torstryem, one of the deputies from St. Petersburg who is collecting signatures for the initiative. Now city deputies from Samara, Yakutsk, Veliky Novgorod and Voronezh have also joined the call. In an interview with independent investigative media Verstka, some of the lawmakers in Moscow who spearheaded the effort said they fully understood they would not get a positive response from the Russian government. (The St. Petersburg district council that took the initiative and called for Putin to be tried for treason is already ready to be dissolved by order of a municipal court, and one of its members was fined for having “discredited” the power in place.) also asked him to release [Alexei] Navalny. But it seems that after February 24 there is no point in asking for anything other than his departure,” said Timofei Nikolayev, a city deputy in Moscow. Another city representative, Olga Shtatskaya, told Verstka that a “mist” had engulfed the country that needed to be destroyed. She said she was “a bit sorry that we didn’t think of doing this sooner”.