Newsletters / Mikhail Khodorkovsky: This Is Not An Election

What will happen on March 18 is a selection, not an election. Russian society must not stay silent.

On Sunday Russia will undergo the official re-appointment of Vladimir Putin to the presidency for a further 6 years.  Open Russia and its founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky are proposing an active strategy of protest against the upcoming pseudo-elections, urging Russian civil society to unite in order to observe and tackle falsification.

“Take Your Ballot Paper, And In Big Red Letters Write: I’ve Had Enough!”


How should one vote in an election where the winner is predetermined?  Open Russia founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky rejects the idea of an armchair boycott for the March 18 presidential election, instead calling for citizens to get out and make their voices heard. You can watch the whole video here.

Russian Opposition Unites On “Election” Day To Catch Fraudsters Red Handed

Open Russia has teamed up with Alexey Navalny, Ksenia Sobchak and Moscow mayoral candidate Dmitry Gudkov in order to organise nationwide public election monitoring.  Activists and citizens will be present at polling stations on “election” day in order to check and document instances of falsification.

“If these elections are remembered for anything at all then it will be for the fact that once again they bear no resemblance to real democratic elections.  The saddest thing is that the situation is so rotten that even if all desired candidates were allowed to take part, we still wouldn’t be able to call this an election.  This whole procedure is just one gigantic ceremony put together in order to reappoint one man to the very same post he has occupied for the last 18 years.  Everybody knows this, everybody knows the outcome, and everyone is fed up with it.  In a situation like this it’s very important to show the country that there are many people who will not put up with such blatant deception, and we do not plan to keep quiet about it.” — Alexander Soloviev, Chairman of the Open Russia Movement

“We Do Not Consider These Elections To Be Real Elections”


“Our project is focused on political education” – Mikhail Khodorkovsky highlights the importance of keeping civil society strong and healthy, even under an authoritarian system where elections are predetermined.  Khodorkovsky’s message is: get out and make your position known.

“The democratic opposition must unite to secure victories”

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – MARCH 26: People take part in an unauthorized anti-corruption rally in Pushkin Square on Tverskaya Street on March 26, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images)

When different groups come together in defence of common interests, mountains can be moved. After a series of unexpected opposition victories in Moscow’s 2017 municipal elections, the importance and effectiveness of an organised and united Russian opposition is clearer than ever.

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