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Presidential elections in Russia end in protests

Presidential elections in Russia end in protests

The team is about a dead Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny On the last day of the presidential elections in Russia, there were many participants in protests against the re-election of the head of the Kremlin Vladimir Putin mentioned.

After the polling stations close in the city of Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg), overlooking the Baltic Sea, it is expected that predictions will be issued regarding the outcome of the vote at around seven in the evening, Central European Time. According to state election researchers, Putin is expected to receive more than 80% of the vote.

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Pressure on voters

In Russia's Far East, in Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Irkutsk and other Siberian cities, people came to take part in the event at lunchtime (local time). “Lunch against Putin” Participation, as Navalny's team demonstrated in a live broadcast on YouTube.

In Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains, hundreds of people lined up at the polling station. And also other opponents of Putin, such as the Russian businessman who lives in exile in Great Britain Mikhail Khodorkovsky He called on people not to be afraid and participate in the work.

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Navalny's team complained en masse scam When voting. There are also things that are illegal Pressure on voters Opposition member Leonid Volkov of Navalny's team said state-owned enterprises and public employers would take part in the vote.

He complained that online voting appeared to have been widely manipulated. According to official information, online voter turnout has already ended on Sunday morning 90 percent.

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random selection

The opposition suggested that voters invalidate ballot papers by marking several of the four candidates. There was also a possibility created by Navalny Random generator On the cell phone that displayed the candidate's name.

“In the 'Lunch Against Putin' campaign, we can look into each other's eyes, see like-minded people, and experience that those who oppose Putin are many. We have the majority,” Khodorkovsky said in his video call.

The authorities in Russia have sometimes warned against such protests and threatened people with extremism charges. On the other hand, the initiators and supporters, including widow Yulia Navalnaya, emphasized that every person has the right to participate in voting. Photos and videos were also shown from polling stations abroad, where hundreds of people took part in the campaign against Putin.

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Opposition is excluded

According to independent experts in Russia and abroad, the general conditions for the elections are neither free nor fair opposition is excluded Three opposition candidates were approved They are considered loyal to the Kremlin.

Numerous reports indicate that pressure is being put on the Russians to participate in the elections. As many Russian media reported, citizens of Moscow, whose critical position the authorities knew, received warning messages from unknown senders on their mobile phones. According to the Meduza portal, they were told that they had to go to the polls “but without queues.”

Burning polling stations

In the first two days, a number of people poured paint on the ballot boxes in protest against the invalidation of the ballot papers inside them. In the city of Yekaterinburg in the Ural region, a professor at a local university was arrested on charges of this attempt and sentenced to 15 days in prison.

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Other cases face higher penalties. Several attempts to set fire to polling stations were also reported. According to the opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta Europa, 15 cases had been filed as of Saturday.

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The independent election monitoring organization “Golos” fears that the results will be tampered with, especially in online voting and in voting machines. A classic method of election fraud was also reported in Krasnodar in southern Russia on Saturday: an election commission member threw several completed ballot papers into the jar.

Final result on March 28th

The elections will be held in the largest country in the world, spread across eleven time zones. Polling stations in the Kaliningrad region on the Baltic Sea will be the last to close on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. Central European Time.

The alleged results of the post-election polls and the first counting results will then be published. The total count usually continues until Monday morning. a The official final result is scheduled to be announced on March 28 Stick to the position.

There is particular international criticism for holding sham elections also in the occupied Ukrainian territories. Russia annexed these areas in violation of international law.

In the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, the electoral body claimed that the turnout had already reached Saturday evening 86.75 percent He lied. Russian opposition, incl Yulia NavalnayaThe widow of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who died in custody, has called on foreign countries not to recognize Putin's re-election.