Yulia Navalnaya calls on Russians to protest against Putin by heading to the polls at noon

Screenshot from the video

Screenshot from the video

Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of the late Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, has called on Russians to demonstrate their desire for a change of leadership in Russia by heading to the polls en masse to vote in the presidential election at noon on 17 March.

The ballot for Russia’s upcoming election, which will take place over three days from 15 to 17 March, will include Vladimir Putin and three Kremlin-approved pro-war candidates, offering the electorate no real option to vote for change.

Navalnaya said that though the election would be “total fiction”, Russians could still use the election against Putin. “We need to use election day to show we exist and that there are a lot of us,” she said, adding that it was up to the voters what they did when they got to the polling station.

“You can vote for any candidate except Putin or you can spoil your ballot. If you don’t see any point in voting, you can just go to the polling station and then go home.”

Navalnaya also doubled down on her previous calls on the international community not to recognise the election results.

“Putin won’t be a legitimate president either way. Neither for us, nor for the entire world.”

The Noon Against Putin campaign was first proposed by the exiled Russian opposition politician Maxim Reznik and was supported by Alexey Navalny from his jail cell shortly before his death. “It will be a nationwide protest against Putin that takes place near your home,” Navalny wrote on his Telegram channel in early February, adding that millions of people could take part in the action while millions watched the mass turnout of opposition voters.

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