Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said Thursday that Russians should vote against Vladimir Putin in the 2024 presidential election.
“You can do this by voting for any other candidate,” Navalny said in a statement posted on his website.
Russia's upper house of parliament earlier on Thursday officially set March 17 as the date for next year's presidential election.
Putin, who has been in power in Russia either as president or prime minister since 2000, has not officially announced if he will run for a fifth term in office, but is widely expected to do so.
Navalny urged supporters to spend the 100-day campaign period to persuade at least 10 other voters to cast ballots for any candidate besides Putin.
The opposition figure identified Putin’s core base of voters — “pensioners, public sector employees, military, security forces and mobilized people” — as the primary targets of his anti-Putin campaign.
“They should be the first to see: Russia is stirring and voting against Putin,” Navalny wrote.
Navalny acknowledged that the results of the 2024 elections “will be rigged” but asked skeptics who planned to skip the ballot to still join his anti-Putin effort.
“You can campaign against [Putin] as well and decide whether to vote or not,” he said.
“For Putin, this election is a referendum on the approval of his actions. A referendum on the approval of war. Let us thwart his plans and make sure that on March 17 no one cares about the falsified result, but that all of Russia has seen and understood it: the will of the majority is that Putin has to leave.”
Billboards displaying a QR code linking to Team Navalny's “Russia Without Putin” website appeared in Moscow and St. Petersburg on Thursday as the campaign was announced. The billboards were pulled down or covered up soon after.