Voters Rally In Russia On Election Day

Putin earned a fifth term as president of Russia in the recent election. The dictator had few serious opponents and actively worked to silence his critics. 

On Sunday, the last day one could cast a vote, Russians flocked to the streets to show their disapproval of Putin, seemingly responding to a call from the opposition. Polls were expected to open at noon. 

As he continues his almost 25-year rule for another six years, the Russian leader would settle for nothing less than complete control of the country’s political system, as highlighted by the coming orchestrated landslide.

Flooding as many Russian people as possible at the exact moment, around noon, to cast their ballots for anyone but Putin was the rallying cry of the “Noon Against Putin” movement. Protest organizers urged people to “do what you think is right” while casting their ballots, whether supporting candidates other than Putin, checking every box, making a mistake, or not casting a vote. 

The polls have closed in Russia, according to British Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s post on X. Cameron cited issues such as voters’ lack of choice, the absence of impartial OSCE monitoring, and the unlawful conduct of elections on Ukrainian territory.

Due to the government’s crackdown on independent media, public discourse surrounding Putin and his conflict in Ukraine has been severely limited. At that time, lines seemed to build outside a number of polling places both inside Russia and at its embassies across the world. Navalny’s associates urged those unhappy with Putin or the war in Ukraine to cast their ballots and dutifully showed up at noon on Sunday. In Berlin, Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s widow, joined a lengthy queue as some spectators cheered and shouted her name.

Putin dismissed the apparent protest’s efficacy, nevertheless. Some claims made on social media showed how long the protesters’ lineups were at the polls. There were reports of large turnouts from Russian communities abroad supporting the initiative.