Russian governor breaks rank as she attacks Putin's invasion of Ukraine

Natalya Komarova, Governor of KhantyMansi Autonomous AreaYugra speaks at a session "Arctic: Territory of Dialogue"

Natalya Komarova, Governor of KhantyMansi Autonomous AreaYugra speaks at a session "Arctic: Territory of Dialogue"

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 16/10/2023

- 14:43

Natalya Komarova told residents in a Siberian city that Russia had ‘no need’ for its war in Ukraine

A Russian governor has broken rank by attacking Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

Natalya Komarova, who became governor of Khanty-Mansiysk region in March 2020, was criticised for “discrediting the Russian armed forces”.

The 67-year-old made the comments during a visit to Nizhnevartovsk on Saturday.

Komarova, who is part of Putin’s governing United Russia party, also claimed troops had not been prepared for the onslaught against the ex-Soviet state.

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Critics have called on Russian authorities to launch an investigation into her comments.

However, Komarova has not yet been detained or faced any charges.

It has since emerged that a complaint was lodged against the governor alleging her comments are “aimed at discrediting the Russian armed forces”.

Footage from Komarova’s visit to Nizhnevartovsk has circulated on social media.


Russian President Vladimir Putin


The 67-year-old was confronted by the wife of a Russian soldier who claimed Putin’s troops were poorly equipped.

She replied: “Are you asking me (why your husband does not have equipment), knowing that I’m the governor and not the minister of defence?

“As a whole, we did not prepare for this war. We don’t need it.

“We were building a completely different world, so in this regard, there will certainly be some inconsistencies and unresolved issues.”

Three men watching an explosion in UkraineRussia continues with its invasion of Ukraine more than a year after stepping foot into the ex-Soviet state


The Russian Parliament enacted legislation to clamp down on criticism shortly after the invasion was launched.

Legislation was passed which outlawed disparaging comments about the military at the spread of so-called “false information” about Putin’s onslaught.

Russian courts have cited the legislation to hand out fines and prison terms to the Kremlin’s critics.

People who have labelled the war an invasion instead of using Putin’s preferred euphemism of a “special military operation” are among those who have been punished.

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