Russian citizen Dmitry Popov, who is accused of riots in Belarus, in a letter to his sister from the pre-trial detention center, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to deprive him of Russian citizenship. The letter was published by the Belarusian blogger Anton Motolko and the Belarusian version of Radio Liberty .
I have been waiting for over a year that Russia does not abandon its own people, as V.V. Putin has repeatedly said. On verification, it turned out that this is not at all true. Russia has selective blindness on its own. They stand up only for those whose help can bring political points to the Russian leadership. <…>
Nevertheless, it was Russia that I called my Motherland. In response, from the 1 consul who came to me in the pre-trial detention center once: “Dima, you understand everything!” No, I don’t understand. I refuse to understand why for a whole year the Russian consulate asked about my person only once. I refuse to understand why that dialogue took place after the torture against me in the presence of a KGB officer.
In the letter, Popov said that he did not want to have a passport of a country “which is ready to sacrifice its citizens in the interests of another country.” “For me, this is a vile and cruel betrayal. I do not want and will not be a citizen of a traitorous country, ”he said.
Dmitry Popov is one of the defendants in the criminal case of blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, who was going to participate in the presidential elections in Belarus and who was detained at the end of May 2020. A number of his associates were also detained.
Popov was a moderator of the social networks “Countries for Life”, a YouTube channel hosted by Tikhanovsky. Popov was detained in early June 2020. He is charged with four criminal charges, including articles on riots and incitement to hatred.
At the end of June 2021, the trial of Popov began in Belarus. The Russian faces up to 15 years in prison.