The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Around a thousand Russians follow call to protest against Putin’s election in Bern

On the last day of the Russian presidential election, around a thousand Russians protested against incumbent Vladimir Putin in Bern on Sunday. The "Noon against Putin" was called by the Russia of the Future / Switzerland association.

The queue in front of the Russian embassy was several hundred meters long, as a reporter from the Keystone-SDA news agency reported. The call went out to "all those who disagree with Putin's policies and are against war and injustice".

According to the website, there are different ways to vote at the polling station. You could vote for any candidate except Putin, spoil the ballot paper by selecting two different candidates or take it with you. What the Russian authorities feared most was the obviousness "that we are the majority", it continued.

This proves that Putin does not have the majority of the Russian population behind him, said Polina Petushkova, board member of Russia of the Future / Switzerland, to the Keystone-SDA news agency. She herself was impressed by the success of the appeal. The association has existed in Zurich for two years. Previously, there had been activities in Geneva since 2015.

In the last presidential election in Russia six years ago, only around 900 Russians took part in the election in the whole of Switzerland. Today, a good 16,000 Russians live in Switzerland.

Election boycott worldwide

On Sunday, thousands of Russians around the world went to their embassies at lunchtime to boycott Putin's election. Even in Russia, hundreds in various cities expressed their displeasure at the election farce with disruptive actions. They had responded to a call by Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who recently died in the Russian gulag.

The presidential election in Russia does not meet democratic standards and is neither free nor fair. It is considered a sham election in the West because no candidates critical of the Kremlin and opposed to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine were allowed to stand. Election observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) were also not allowed to take part.

©Keystone/SDA

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