There're definitely people in Russia who are against the "special military operation" - c.f. protests after Putin ordered a partial mobilization.

Have any of these people explained what their preferred end state* looks like? For example, most Ukrainians are against any end state that involves ceding Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea. Are there anti-war parties in Russia that agree with cancelling recognition for Donetsk/Luhansk and returning Crimea to Ukraine?

I'm especially curious if Alexi Navalny has said anything. I know he has said "stop the war", but I'm unaware if he's described how he prefers to resolve the status of Donestk/Luhansk/Crimea.

*Definition: "end state" is the state after any formal peace treaty is signed. If no peace treaty is ever signed (e.g. the situation between North Korea and South Korea), then presumably the end state would be uti possidetis.

Tangentially related: Is there a faction in the Ukrainian parliament favoring an immediate ceasefire? and Is there a political faction in Russia publicly advocating for an immediate ceasefire? which establish that these factions do exist, but do not explain what their preferred end state is.

  • 1
    I've judiciously avoided using a certain word that people seem to automatically associate with 'desirable'.
    – Allure
    Sep 22, 2022 at 8:59
  • 1
    @RogerVadim "end state" is the state after any formal peace treaty is signed. If that takes decades to achieve, then presumably even the anti-Ukraine war parties in Russia are pro-war in the sense that they will not agree to meet Ukraine's preferred end state. Ukraine's preferred end state seems pretty clear (all Russians out of pre-war Ukrainian borders, Crimea returned).
    – Allure
    Sep 22, 2022 at 9:13
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    It is worth clarifying this in the question. Also: one should not confuse anti-Putin, anti-war, and pro-Ukraine parties: the conflict has many dimensions: economic, historical, cultural, ethnic, etc. While these did not necessarily imply a military confrontation, they may delay ending it.
    – Roger V.
    Sep 22, 2022 at 9:19
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    As an example: no one in Russia is seriously in favor of war with Japan, but there is still no formal peace treaty.
    – Roger V.
    Sep 22, 2022 at 9:30
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    It's reasonable to ask what Navalny says; it's not reasonable to ask what any of the large number of people who oppose the war think because there could be a thousand or a million different answers.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 22, 2022 at 9:42

2 Answers 2


A. Navalny said on February 24, 2022:

The war with Ukraine has been unleashed to cover up the robbery of Russian citizens and divert their attention away from the country’s internal problems, from the degradation of its economy

Seems logical to think that the end state would be a peace agreement without achieving the goals intended for this war. Trying to understand that exactly the "robbery" means, there are over $300 billion of Russian central bank assets that have been moved out of the country. Enough to colonize the Moon with $4.2 billion per Artemis launch. These can potentially be viewed by the opposition as money that the Russian government have stolen from the own people, by extracting them from the economy and putting aside. This happened before the war, before the sanctions. The money are now frozen (as per sanctions for Ukraine invasion).

Later, Garry Kasparov said in an interview from August 2022 (emphasis in the original transcript):

We cannot study Alexei Navalny’s point of view because he is in prison, but Leonid Volkov, indicated, during a debate with myself, that the matter was closed after 24 February and Crimea is Ukrainian

Hence the answer could probably be that A. Navalny and his staff members currently suggest the removal of Russian forces from the territory of Ukraine. This differs from what A. Navalny said about the Crimea before the invasion when he claimed that people living there should decide.

  • Comments deleted. Please remember that Politics Stack Exchange is not a discussion forum. Comments on answers should aim to improve the answer, not to debate its subject matter.
    – Philipp
    Sep 23, 2022 at 9:15
  • I'm not sure I understand your Trying to understand [what] exactly the "robbery" means sentence, the vast majority of the sanctions were enacted after the date assigned to that quote, and contextually it seems to be referencing internal problems, which would be an odd followup to "sanctions stole from the people".
    – DBS
    Sep 23, 2022 at 13:18
  • I include the sentence because lots of previous comments addressed this money. EU/USA think to hand the money to Ukraine now, to repair the damage as done by Russia.
    – Stančikas
    Sep 23, 2022 at 14:56
  • Well if you as a B give A's money to C that's theft. So they need an a-OK from Russia to do so, or basically suffer a default.
    – alamar
    Oct 24, 2022 at 20:06

Partial & somewhat tangential answer: it seems that in 2019, most Russians preferred independence for Donetsk/Luhansk. That makes it seem like the preferred end-state of anti-war parties in Russia is also independence for the two regions.

The survey also asked Russians whether they supported a similar annexation of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Russia-backed fighters have been battling Ukrainian forces since April 2014 and now hold parts of both provinces, including their administrative centers. More than 13,000 people have died in the fighting, and more than 1 million have been displaced.

An overwhelming majority said that the separatist-held areas should not be part of Ukraine: 29 percent supported annexation, and 46 percent said they should be independent states. Just 13 percent said they should remain part of Ukraine.

Tons and tons of caveats to this, though, the two major ones being 1) 2019 is not 2022, and 2) independence for Donetsk/Luhansk - and they were independent for a few months prior to being annexed into Russia recently - presumably won't stop the war, because it's still incompatible with Ukraine's preferred end state.

Update: An October 2023 poll suggests that most Russians are OK with ending the war if they can keep the occupied territories, and want to keep fighting otherwise. The poll also says that most Russians feel that "protecting residents of Ukraine's Donbas region - home to a large minority of ethnic Russians - [is] the main reason for starting the war."

This suggests that the preferred end-state for Russia is annexing the separatist regions into Russia. They might also accept UN-administered referendums on whether to remain in Ukraine.

This state is, of course, incompatible with Ukraine's preferred end state, hence the war will likely go on.

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