Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Navalny Calls for Election Day Protest Against Putin, Ukraine Invasion

Alexei Navalny. Yuri Kochetkov / EPA / TASS

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his allies have called on supporters to protest against President Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine by turning up to vote “at noon” in the March presidential election.

“Go vote against Putin and the war, and urge everyone to do the same,” Navalny said Thursday on X (formerly Twitter). 

Navalny, who is serving a 19-year extremism sentence in a remote Arctic prison, explained that voting alone would not be enough since election authorities would rig the results in Putin’s favor.

“Without your personal campaigning against Putin, your personal vote against him has little meaning,” he said.

Navalny’s strategy — dubbed “Noon Against Putin” — appeared aimed at exploiting both the Kremlin’s efforts to drive up voter turnout and an expanding crackdown on other forms of unauthorized protest.

“This is a real nationwide protest action [that is] completely legal and safe,” he said, adding: “The authorities themselves are calling for people to participate.”

Navalny's team told supporters to cast their vote on the third and final day of voting on March 17. 

They also noted that “it doesn’t really matter what you do at the polling place: vote for any candidate except Putin, spoil the ballot, or take it with you.”

The jailed activist credited former St. Petersburg regional assembly deputy Maxim Reznik for devising the plan.

Putin, 71, is still widely expected to secure his fifth overall presidential term in the March election.

He faces little opposition at the ballot, with the only pro-peace hopeful Boris Nadezhdin awaiting election authorities’ decision on whether to allow him to run.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more