Yulia Navalnaya Calls For Election Day Protest Against Putin

Yulia Navalnaya has pledged to continue her husband's work and opposition to the Kremlin following Navalny's death last month in an Arctic prison colony.

(FILES) Yulia Navalnaya, widow of Kremlin opposition leader Alexei Navalny who died on February 16 in a Russian prison, addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on February 28, 2024. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP)


The widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny called on Wednesday for Russians to stage an election day protest against President Vladimir Putin by forming long queues outside voting stations.

Yulia Navalnaya has pledged to continue her husband’s work and opposition to the Kremlin following Navalny’s death last month in an Arctic prison colony.

In a video on YouTube, Navalnaya backed an initiative to try to overload polling stations in this month’s nationwide poll, in which Putin is set to secure another six-year term as president.

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“We need to go to the polling station on one day at one time: 17 March at 12:00. What to do next? You can choose. You can vote for any candidate except Putin. You can spoil your ballot. You can write ‘Navalny’ in big letters,” Yulia Navalnaya said in a video on YouTube.

She called the March 15-17 vote a “sham” and said it was obvious Putin would “draw up any result he wants”.

Navalny had also backed the proposal — which organisers have called “midday against Putin” — in one of his final posts from jail before he died.

Navalnaya on Wednesday said she had taken hope from thousands who had visited Navalny’s grave with flowers and tributes since his burial last Friday.

Calling them the “bravest, most honest people in our country”, she said the show of support proved there was significant opposition to the Kremlin inside Russia.

“We are many and we are strong,” she said.

The Kremlin had threatened Navalny’s mourners with arrest under Moscow’s strict anti-protest laws.

Hundreds have been detained while laying flowers and placards at makeshift memorials to the opposition leader across Russia.

Police in Moscow have since arrested at least five people who attended Navalny’s funeral or visited his grave, the OVD-Info rights group said.