Russia police detain several people protesting Putin amid presidential election News
© WikiMedia (Vitaly Kuzmin)
Russia police detain several people protesting Putin amid presidential election

Russian advocacy organization and human rights monitor OVD-Info and Russian online media Mediazona reported Sunday that 75 people in 17 cities were detained in connection with the “Noon Against Putin” protest, a movement organized by the Russian opposition calling for voters to cast their ballots against incumbent President Vladimir Putin at noon. Russians gathered at noon outside polling stations in protest against the Russian president, who might see the presidential elections extend his rule of more than two decades.

Mediazona also reported attacks in polling stations, with individuals setting fire to ballot boxes or spilling paint over them. OVD-Info said that both women responsible for the attacks were jailed. Additionally, a protestor was arrested for allegedly writing a slogan on her ballot and another for writing “no to war,” while an election monitor was detained for wearing a Navalny t-shirt. The organization further stated that police in the Moscow suburb of Odintsovo are checking and seizing ballots.

The Noon Against Putin movement was created by Russian politician Maxim Reznik and supported by late prominent opposition leader and activist Alexei Navalny, whose death in prison in February prompted outrage both nationally and internationally.

Navalny posted on X (formerly Twitter) days before his death that he “like[d] the idea of anti-Putin voters going to the polling stations together at 12 noon” as that would “be a strong demonstration of national sentiment.” He added, “The ‘Noon Against Putin’ action perfectly unites all the components. Voting, agitation, physical presence, and solidarity with those who will be with you at the polling station at that time.”

The presidential election entered its final day on Sunday. Putin is widely expected to win reelection, as major opposition figures were disqualified from running.