September 26, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Live Ukraine War Updates: Wagner Chief Prigozhin reappears in video

Live Ukraine War Updates: Wagner Chief Prigozhin reappears in video
credit…Matthew Korner/EPA, via Shutterstock

Alexei Navalny, the jailed Russian opposition leader, has urged his supporters to go to the polls in regional elections next month, even though sweeping victories for the Kremlin are almost certain across the country.

in blog postMr. Navalny called on Russians on Monday to vote for anyone on the ballot who is not a member of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party. He said it was important for Russians to continue to participate in the elections, because “sooner or later, they will be conducted relatively freely in Russia.”

“We must win them,” Mr. Navalny continued. “This will not happen if we convince ourselves that the elections have no meaning or significance and get used to not participating in them.”

Although the Kremlin has for years barred nearly all known opposition figures from voting, Mr. Navalny’s coordinated protest-voting strategy of coalescing around a particular candidate has shown in previous elections that the opposition movement can still influence political events. This time, he said, the repression has reached the point where the strategy no longer makes sense – but there are still some opposition candidates in the regional polls who deserve support.

Mr. Navalny’s call came a day after demonstrators around the world, many of them Russians, gathered to protest against Mr. Putin’s grip on power, Moscow’s sweeping invasion of Ukraine, and the ongoing detention of opponents of the Russian state, including Mr. Navalny.

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The protests, which have drawn crowds in cities across Europe and Australia, were organized by Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation in coordination with local groups and timed to mark the third anniversary of his poisoning.

In Berlin, a small crowd marched from the hospital where Mr. Navalny was treated for a near-fatal exposure to a military-grade nerve agent to the Brandenburg Gate in the city centre. They carried banners and posters denouncing Mr. Putin and expressing their support for Ukraine.

“I feel it’s an important part of our work here to talk to people in Europe and the West,” said Leonid Volkov, Mr. Navalny’s longtime chief of staff.

However, the turnout is in Berlin, which is home A large number of Russian immigrants and became a center for Russian exiles, it was smaller than others had hoped.

said Daria Dudley, a Russian national who lives in Berlin and has organized protests, including a rally on Sunday, with Demokrati-JA, a Russian-language anti-war group based in Germany.

Russians who attended Sunday’s rally said they felt some responsibility to speak openly about the relative safety they felt in Germany, particularly supporting jailed opposition figures. .

“We – all ethnic Russians – are at least responsible for what is happening,” said Natasha Ivanova, 49, a Russian who has lived in Germany for decades. After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, she said she could not continue to “watch quietly,” adding, “I will not stop speaking out of fear.”