The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Over a thousand Russians in Bern and Geneva to protest against Putin’s election

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

The queue in front of the Russian embassy in Bern was several hundred meters long, as a reporter from the Keystone-SDA news agency reported. Around 400 Russians also stood in front of the Consulate General in Geneva. The call from Russia of the Future / Switzerland was addressed to "all those who disagree with Putin's policies and are against war and injustice", as the website stated.

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

Putin's lie about the majority

The success of the appeal proves that Putin certainly does not have the majority of the Russian population behind him, Polina Petushkova, board member of Russia of the Future / Switzerland, told Keystone-SDA. She was impressed herself. The association has existed in Zurich for two years. Prior to that, 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.

In order to be able to counter the official figures with their own, several helpers from the association Russia of the Future / Switzerland on Sunday counted the people in the queues in Bern and Geneva.

Election boycott worldwide

Around the world, thousands of Russians went to their embassies at lunchtime on Sunday to protest against 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 from 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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