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Navalny's widow against “Putin's mafia” and the suspicion of historical manipulation of the elections

Navalny's widow against “Putin's mafia” and the suspicion of historical manipulation of the elections

The widow of Kremlin opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who died in custody, has again called for Russian President Vladimir Putin's re-election not to be recognized. “Putin is not our president,” Yulia Navalnaya said in a video released Tuesday after Sunday’s election. He added: “We will make sure that no one in the world recognizes Putin as the legitimate president, and that no one sits with him at the negotiating table.”

The 47-year-old, who wants to continue opposition work to her husband in exile, said in her appeal to Western countries that “Putin's mafia” must be fought like an organized crime organization. Putin's people have stolen billions to buy big houses and yachts. Money is spent on the army and propaganda, but not on changing people's lives for the better.

The Kremlin accused Navalnaya, who also protests Putin at the European Union level, of losing her Russian roots. On Sunday, she invalidated the ballot paper for the presidential elections at the embassy in Berlin by writing the name of her husband, who died in a concentration camp on February 16. He once wanted to become President of Russia himself.

Criticism of “anti-Russian hysteria”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova complained on Tuesday that the pro-Western opposition had tried to stir up sentiment around the embassy in Berlin with anti-Russian hysteria. “This very point should become a focus of hatred and anger against the Russian state,” she wrote on Telegram. The goal was to intimidate Russian voters at the embassy. “But Putin also won the elections there,” Zakharova said. No numbers were given. The Central Election Commission gave Putin more than 87 percent of the votes at the beginning of his fifth term, which will last six years.

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But independent Russian election observers from the Golos organization confirmed that the result was achieved through unprecedented manipulation. Golos said on Tuesday that more than 34 million votes counted in favor of Putin were questionable, according to an analysis conducted by his experts. Officially, the number of votes cast reached 76 million – a greater number than ever before in an election for Putin, who has been in power for nearly 25 years.