NewsGlobal protests against Putin: Navalnaya rallies support ahead of elections

Global protests against Putin: Navalnaya rallies support ahead of elections

Putin in a bathtub of blood. Nawalna appeared at the event.
Putin in a bathtub of blood. Nawalna appeared at the event.
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE
5:22 PM EDT, March 17, 2024

The widow of Russian opposition figure Julia Navalnaya participated in the "Noon Against Putin" action in Germany. In numerous cities across Russia and Europe, crowds gathered in front of Russian consulates, accompanied by artistic installations, to express their opposition to Putin's dictatorship.

Before the elections, Navalnaya released a video urging Russian citizens to join the opposition-led campaign "Noon Against Putin." The initiative called for mass gatherings at noon to symbolically vote against Putin.

Russian presidential elections

The call was heeded by many, with large crowds assembling outside election commissions across Russia, although met with police intervention. The "Groza Kazan" channel reported that police prevented students from voting, asking them to return "in two or three hours".

The human rights organization OVD-Info reports that, as of 8 AM Eastern Time, 74 individuals were detained in 17 cities across Russia, including a member of the local election commission who wore a shirt with "Navalny" emblazoned on it.

According to SOTA, a line of voters in Berlin stretched for over 0.5 miles. "People arrived early, and by 5 AM Eastern Time, they had completely encircled the embassy building. Due to the massive influx of participants, police had to adjust the security perimeter numerous times," the report noted.

An installation depicting Putin bathing in blood, set against the backdrop of Ukraine's colors—which Putin infamously attacked two years prior—was placed in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin.

  • Protest in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin
  • Protest in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin
  • Protest in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin
  • Protest in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin
  • Protest in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin
  • Protest in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin
  • Protest in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin
  • Protest in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin
  • Protest in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin
[1/9] Protest in front of the Russian embassy in BerlinImages source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

"Russia Without Putin", "Putin is a murderer"

Participants distributed yellow rubber ducks, a symbol of the opposition movement initiated by Navalny, and held signs with phrases like: "Russia without Putin," "Putin is a murderer," "#stopthewar," and "#StopPutin."

The Russian embassy in Germany issued a statement "rejoicing" at the turnout. "Together we are strong – Vote for Russia!" the statement read, posted on platform X along with a time-lapse video of the crowd.

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