Thousands turn out to vote at Russian embassy in Paris

Russian nationals formed long queues outside Moscow’s embassy in Paris on Sunday to cast their vote on the final day of elections set to extend President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

Thousands of voters gathered in the rain outside the Paris embassy where opponents of Putin had called for a protest in memory of late opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Similar scenes played out in Berlin and other European capitals.

Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s widow, received flowers from supporters and chatted with fellow voters in the long queue outside the Russian embassy in Berlin.

Navalny supporters had called for people to go to polling stations in a “Midday Against Putin” protest and spoil their ballots.

Navalny, Putin’s most prominent rival, died in mysterious circumstances in an Arctic prison last month.

“I will use my ballot as a leaflet,” said Tatyana Leontyeva, 43, as she waited for her turn outside the Paris embassy.

“I think I will write Navalny on it, I will say that Putin is illegitimate, I support democratic values,” she told AFP.

Vyacheslav Dorofeyev, who works for a French bank, said that there “is the desire to somehow change the situation”.


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