Navalnaya Calls On Anti-Putin Russians ‘Not To Give Up’

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Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny, called Tuesday on Russians who oppose President Vladimir Putin “not to give up”, while dismissing Moscow’s election result as having “no meaning”.

Putin won a fifth Kremlin term after a three-day vote with no opposition that has been slammed by independent Russian election observers and the West as the most corrupt in post-Soviet history.

Thousands inside and outside Russia responded to Navalnaya’s call to form long queues at polling stations to show their opposition to Putin at noon on the final day of the vote.

“These elections are over but nothing is finished. On the contrary, we should gather our strength and work harder than ever before,” Navalnaya — who lives outside Russia — said in a video Tuesday.

“We should not wave away from (this) work just because it does not bring immediate results, but instead stock up on patience and go forward,” she said, adding: “Do not give up, Russia will be free.”

Moscow says Putin won a whopping more than 87 percent of the vote.

“The result of this election has no meaning. Putin wants to show the world that he apparently has huge support,” Navalnaya said.

She vowed her team will work for the international community not to recognise Putin as a “legitimate” leader and not to negotiate with him.

The 47-year-old also thanked “every single one” of those Russians who took part in her election protest.

Navalnaya queued at midday on Sunday to vote in the Russian embassy in Berlin — home to a big community of anti-Kremlin Russians — and wrote her husband’s name on the ballot.

READ ALSO: Russian Election ‘Incredibly Undemocratic’ – US

The vote took place one month after Navalny — Putin’s main opponent — died in a remote Arctic prison.

Putin for years refused to utter Navalny’s name in public, but on Sunday broke that tradition when he alleged he had green-lighted an initiative to swap “Mr Navalny” for unnamed Russians in Western jails days before his death.

Navalny’s team says Putin ordered his killing on the eve of a prisoner swap.

Navalnaya has called the 71-year-old a “coward” for only pronouncing her husband’s name after his death.

AFP

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