A phony video depicting ballot falsifications in the upcoming presidential election has emerged on YouTube a week before the vote, stirring up controversy and allegations that it was intended to be used by the opposition to make bogus voting fraud claims.
A description posted with the video — uploaded by YouTube user 4marchVideo — said it is a fake filmed by the opposition to be released after the elections.
"The films should bear the subtitle Navalny Unsiversal Studio [sic] or at least Nemcov Cinema [sic]. On March 5, these little people will feed us their revolutionary slogans and complain that everything has been stolen from them," the description said, referring to opposition figures Alexei Navalny and Boris Nemtsov.
Titled "Falsification at the Elections March 4, 2012 in Moscow," the video contains three scenes. The first shows a man complaining that his name has already been used to vote; the second depicts election workers filling out ballots themselves and the third shows a driver giving instructions to people, who will stuff ballot boxes at multiple voting sites for 500 rubles ($16) each.
The driver in the third scene says, "Should an observer catch you, remain calm. Don't give any information or show your passport — just wait for the police to come, they are in on it. They will take you to the station and release you. Then you can get your money."
The description said the video was stolen from an unnamed "underground Moscow video studio."