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State Duma elections, 2011
Electoral Programme

RUSSIA DEMANDS CHANGES! Electoral Program for 2011 Parliamentary Elections.

Basic guidelines for 2011- 2016. Approved by the 16th Congress of the party on September 10, 2011

OUR GOAL. The main goal of the YABLOKO party is to build via peaceful and constitutional methods a modern law-based democratic and socially oriented state serving the needs of the people and ensuring Russia’s dynamic development...
YABLOKO is participating in the elections to the State Duma in order to represent the interests of Russia’s citizens, adopt laws that will bring the country closer to a law-based democratic and socially oriented state and abolish all legislation that obstructs such a goal...

Press releases and Publications

A “memorial action of the deceased fair elections” took place by the Central Electoral Commission Moscow office and in other cities

Press Release, December 4, 2012.

A “memorial action of the deceased fair elections” has begun by the Central Electoral Commission Moscow office and in other cities. The action was launched by YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin by laying flowers to the Central Electoral Commission Moscow office at noon...

Today YABLOKO activists have been laying white carnations to electoral commissions in Ufa, Saransk, Kazan, Izhevsk, Voronezh, Kirov, Penza, Pskov, Ryazan, Smolensk, Tula, Vladimir, Vologda and Novgorod.

Sergei Mitrokhin: Churov has not realized what happened a year ago

Press Release, December 4, 2012.

The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) has not realized what happened in the parliamentary elections on December 4, 2011. It was not the YABLOKO party which stole the votes, votes were stolen from the YABLOKO party. This is how YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin commented on the statement from the CEC press service running that if YABLOKO did not recognize the results of the voting, then it would be "logical" for YABLOKO to refuse state financing [allotted to all the political parties in Russia that obtaining over three 3 per cent at the elections].
Sergei Mitrokhin compared such a proposal on behalf of the CEC for YABLOKO to give up state financing with a situation when a police would suddenly demand money from a robbery victim as they can not find the robbers.

YABLOKO leader also noted that the party had filed hundreds of complaints to courts, but they had been rejected, despite obvious evidence of violations – election carousels, stuffing of fraudulent ballots into ballot boxes, ousting of observers from polling stations and faking of final voting protocols.

Mitrokhin also said that he applied to Gennady Zyuganov, Communist Party leader, in April 2012 with a proposal to file a joint lawsuit demanding cancellation of the elections. "Only a few days are left until this plan can be realised," Mitrokhin said...

People will be bringing flowers in memory to the Central Electoral Commission in memory of the deceased fair elections for the whole day on December 4

Press Release, December 3, 2012.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin proposed to commemorate the death day of the most important democratic procedure – fair elections – on the one-year anniversary of the parliamentary elections of 2011...

The Tula regional branch of YABLOKO also calls on all supporters of fair elections bring white carnations to the 6th entrance of the Government of Tula Region office, where the Electoral Commission of the Tula region is located. The action will be held on December 4, from 12:00 to 13:00.

The Vladimir branch of the YABLOKO party will lay flowers to the office of the Oktyabrsky District Administration in Vladimir on December 4. The territorial electoral commission is located in this building. On December 4, 2011, this commission adopted and counted six thousand fraudulent votes from the "Ladoga" resort complex. All the votes were cast for the ruling United Russia party.

Sergei Mitrokhin: December 4 marks commemoration of fair elections

Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at the Ekho Moskvi Radio Station web-site, November 28, 2012.

December 4 marks a mournful date. A year ago our country suffered a terrible loss: elections to the State Duma which took place on this day hammered the last nail in the coffin of fair elections.

Deeply regretting this and we are urging all of you to commemorate the death day of the most important democratic procedure.

We invite all those grieving with us to participate in the mourning ceremony. Let us honor the memory of the deceased – please bring white carnations to the main entrance of the Central Electoral Commission office (Bolshoi Cherkassky pereuluk, 9, Moscow).
If access to the main entrance is blocked, the flowers can be left anywhere by the Central Electoral Commission office.
YABLOKO activists plan to lay flowers starting from 11:00 a.m., I will come to the ceremony at 12:00...

What does the opposition want: to win or to die heroically?
Moskovsky Komsomolets web-site, July 11, 2012.
Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Yulia Kalinina. (A complete version).

...MK: Yes, the protest movement was preoccupied mainly with creativity: a competition of funny banners and photoshopped pictures. It was too busy with this to think about elections.

GY: Because the people who took on the role of organisers of the protest movement were developing the form without filling it with content. That is why the rallies demonstrated an abundance of inventions, funny posters and performances. But by the spring the main "faces" of the protest have already partially changed. The new “faces” have quickly realized that it was necessary to leave the glamour and creativity – it was a deadlock. They tried to make camps by the fountain at the Pushkin square, breakthrough to the Manezh square, put forward incredible demands to the authorities and socialize at the boulevards. But this was also development of one form only, without any content, including the “Occupy Abai” action (Ed. “Occupy Abai” was a camp in the centre of Moscow by the monument to Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Kunanbayev). It was clear what “Occupy Wall Street” was about. Wall Street is the personification of the type of living the “occupants” protest against. And what does “Occupy Abai” mean? Again, it is an interesting form of protest but not filled with so much needed political content.

MK: A transition from the ideological to the physical opposition was a natural development of the protests. Is not is how they should grow - from coming to rallies to creation of permanent camps of the dissenting? from peaceful methods and slogans to violent clashes?

GY: No, it isn’t. Because in case of physical and violent confrontation with the authorities the protest movement would immediately lose and in general can be even permanently destroyed. The organisers of rallies must understand that this is unacceptable. In addition, if you invite people to an [officially] permitted rally, they should not get into trouble - people can not be victimized. If one is professionally engaged in the organisation of mass-scale peaceful protests and wants precisely this, this can be done. If one has other goals, than it will be the other way.

MK: Do you think ‘the other way” prevailed during protests on May 6?

GY: The desire for exploring "another heroic way" has been there for all these months. However, after the first attempt on December 5, this thrust was marginal, inferior to the general belief in the power of peaceful mass protests. But the protest did not yield immediate results as tangible concessions from the government, or provided a coherent perspective that could have been indicated by the political leadership. Thus, the lead was taken by the left, nationalists and supporters of the thesis “you cannot make an omlette without breaking eggs”. The question of responsibility for the health and lives of people was either redirected to the government or simply removed from the agenda. They said that under the current conditions the true organisers of mass actions were Twitter and FaceBook...

YABLOKO's protesters detained by the Ostankino television centre in Moscow are finally released.
Press Release, March 18, 2012.

...Kirill Goncharov, leader of the Moscow Youth YABLOKO, and his colleagues Gleb Sitnikov and Oleg Rumyantsev were detained at a protest action against smearing of the public mass-scale protests against elections fraud in a film produced and broadcasted by the NTV channel. Goncharov, Sitnikov, and Rumyantsev were taken to police stations.

According to the police, about 100 people were detained at the action. about 100 people. Valery Borshchyov, member of YABLOKO Bureau and head of the Moscow Public Observers' Commission condemned the police actions...

YABLOKO leaders Sergei Mitrokhin and Grigory Yavlinsky spoke at a rally in Novy Arbat prospect, Moscow
Press Release, March 10, 2012.

YABLOKO leaders Sergei Mitrokhin and Grigory Yavlinsky spoke at a rally in Novy Arbat prospect, Moscow. Sergei Mitrokhin gave his time for the speech to Alexei Sklyarov, Editor-in-Chief the Pulse television company in Azov. It is the only independent television company in southern Russia, however, local authorities began pressing the company after Alexei Sklyarov headed the League of Voters in Azov.

"We together with the League of Voters conducted monitoring and control over voting [at elections] across the country. And once again I would like to state that the elections of March 4 were rigged. We are not going to make speeches today, we would like to give the time allotted for our speeches to a unique person - Alexei Sklyarov. He is the head of the only free, independent television company in the southern Russia. His television company has been attacked because he together with YABLOKO monitored the elections," Sergei Mitrokhin told to the protesters...

Grigory Yavlinsky addressed the participants of the rally with n a brief speech, "Friends, I am glad to meet you again. It is already my sixth speech at a rally for the past three months. I remember every word I said. We will accomplish all this. The road is long and difficult. The victory in the fight will not come soon, but it will come. Russia will be free. Russia demands changes!"

A meeting of YABLOKO leaders with Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Liberal Group in the European Parliament
Press Release, March 5, 2012.

Grigory Yavlinsky said that the main objective of all the opposition forces in Russia should be radical change in the socio-political system rather than simply a replacement of top officials. He said this during a meeting with representatives of the European Parliament's Liberal Group (ALDE). The sides discussed the political situation in Russia after the presidential elections and prospects for further development.

The meeting was held on March 5 in YABLOKO’s office. Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the liberals in the European Parliament and ex Prime Minister of Belgium, Renaldas Vaisbrodas, Political Adviser, ALDE, Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO Chairman, Galina Mikhalyova, Executive Secretary of the Political Council and head of the Gender faction and Olga Radayeva, International Secretary...

YABLOKO leaders spoke at the rally For Fair Elections at the Pushkin square
Press Release, March 5, 2012.

YABLOKO leaders Sergei Mitrokhin and Grigory Yavlinsky spoke at the rally For Fair Elections which took place at the Pushkin square, Moscow.

Sergei Mitrokhin said that statements made by Vladimir Churov, head of the Central Electoral Commission, that elections was fair was a blatant lie. The hot line organised jointly by YABLOKO and the Voter’ League got thousands of calls from observers and voters on violations.

Mitrokhin also reiterated that the December slogan “Churov must go!” emerging after parliamentary elections of December 2011 was still on the agenda. The participants had unanimously chanted this slogan together with Mitrokhin...

President Medvedev supported a number of YABLOKO's initiatives
Press Release, February 15, 2012.

A meeting of leaders of registered political parties with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has just finished. The key issue of the meeting was discussion of the political reform. The YABLOKO party was represented by Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO Chairman, and Sergei Ivanenko, Political Committee member.

Sergei Mitrokhin handed to President Medvedev a list of demands put forward by participants of the demonstration and rally of February 4, including the general resolution of the rally, the resolution demanding registration of Grigory Yavlinsky in the presidential election campaign and the list of political prisoners...

YABLOKO won the first case on election fraud

Press Release, February 6, 2012.

The Moscow City Court overruled the decision of Kuntsevsky District Court and declared removal of Aslan Artsuyev, member of electoral commission from the YABLOKO party with a deliberative vote, from polling station No 2451.

Aslan Artsuyev worked at the parliamentary elections and was member of the PEC No 2451 with a deliberative vote, was removed from the polling station 15 minutes before its closure...

Grigory Yavlinsky "Politically we will really unite this year"

Press Release, Videos, Photographs. February 4, 2012.

...Grigory Yavlinsky, party founder, spoke at the rally on behalf of YABLOKO:

"They wish to oust us all from elections. This won't go! This is our right and we are defending the future of our country.

We have gathered here so that to see that there many of us, that we are not alone, that a friend’s shoulder is by your side. We are different, but we all have three colours in common – the colours of the Russian flag.

All together we are defending the future of the country, the Constitution, freedom, life according to laws rather than arbitrary rule. It is important for us and we will never surrender.

Now the most important thing I would like to tell you is that life does no end on March 4 [the voting day of presidential elections] or March 5. This is only the beginning.

And our opponents and foes will see and realise – may be they realise – soon that it is a beginning for us, and an end for them.

This year we will create thousands of committees for the political reform, join us!

This year we will make them abolish censorship in the mass media.

This year we will make an extremely important thing – politically we will really unite.

We will prove that morals and ethics can be the main force both in politics and in Russia.

We love our country and we will not surrender it to thieves, fascists, Stalinists or other parasites...

Grigory Yavlinsky at the rally For Fair Elections of Feburary 4

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, February 4, 2012.

Except from Russian transcript by Radio Liberty:

14.25. Eugenia Chirikova [ecologist and head of the Movement in Defence of Khimki Forest] proposes to vote for a resolution in support of candidacy of Grigory Yavlinsky on the post of Russian President. “We demand that the decision of the Central Electoral Commission to refuse Grigory Yavlinsky registration in the presidential election campaign should be revoked.” “We demand to immediately register Grigory Yavlinsky candidate on the post of President of Russia.” The rally supports this resolution with a roar of approval.

14.20. The rally greets YABLOKO founder Grigory Yavlinsky with applause. Yavlinsky thanks all for support. “They wish to oust us from elections… This won’t go. We feel a friends’ shoulder. We are different, but we all have three colours in common – the colours of the Russian flag. We defend the future of the country and the Constitution – we defend them by lawful means… Now the most important thing I would like to tell you is that life does no end on March 5 [the day after presidential elections in Russia]. This is only the beginning – for us and it is an end for them… We will prove that politics can be moral… For freedom and justice! For our Russia!”

On a demonstration and a rally on February 4
Press Release, February 3, 2012.

YABLOKO participates in the demonstration and rally For Fair Elections of February 4. The participants should gather at 12:00 at Bolshaya Yakimanka (Oktyabrskaya metro station).

YABLOKO’s activists and supporters form the second column (out of total six). The demonstrators should gather by lamp-posts Nos 4 and 5 (out of total nine numbered lamp posts). You will be able to easily locate YABLOKO column by YABLOKO flags. Also you will be able to find information about the location of the column from activists wearing green YABLOKO uniform jackets.

The demonstration will start at 13:00. The columns will go along Bolshaya Yakimanka and Maliy Kamenniy bridge to Bolotnaya square. The rally at Bolotnaya square will begin at 14:00...

Sergei Mitrokhin will distribute leaflets calling to join the march of February 4
Press Release, February 1, 2012.

On February 2 – 3, on the threashold of the march and rally For Fair Elections, YABLOKO activists will distribute leaflets calling to join the action. Leaflets will be distributed by seven Moscow metro stations.

Tomorrow YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin (who is also member of the organisational committe of the action) will be distributing leaflets by Novokuznetskaya metro station from 3 to 4 p.m.

Picketers will also distribute leaflets by Pushkinskaya, Arbatskaya, Chistiye Prudi, Mayakovskaya, Sretenskiy Bulvar, Tretyakovskaya and Novokuznetskaya metro stations from 4 to 7 p.m.

Also leaflets can be obtained in YABLOKO Moscow office (Pyatnitskaya ulitsa, 31/2 bldg 2) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m...

YABLOKO launched a lawsuit for the votes of other parties stolen at the parliamentary elections
Press Release, January 31, 2012.

...Thus, an observer’s protocol (certified by the Chair of the Precinct Electoral Commission) ran that the Just Russia party obtained 290 votes (201 vote according to the Central Electoral Commission). The discrepancy in votes for Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s LDPR party amounted to 32 votes (142 against 108 votes), 15 votes for the Patriots of Russia (29 against 14 votes), the vote for the Right Cause was worsened by half (from 14 to 7 votes). However, the ruling United Russia improved its total vote (from 506 votes on the protocol of the observer to 651 vote, according to official data of the CEC). The votes for the Communist Party and YABLOKO remained unchanged.

"Probably, the election committee members thought that YABLOKO and the Communist Party can go to courts only if their interests are affected. And they decided to "modify" the results of other parties," said YABLOKO’s lawyers. There are also discrepancies in the numbers of canceled and absentee ballots...

YABLOKO website threatened with closure
Press Release, January 31, 2012.

Public prosecutor of Moscow requires the YABLOKO party to provide information about the organization, where the web-site server of yabloko.ru is physically located. Investigators are interested in the actual location of the organization, its legal address and contact telephone numbers.

The request of the prosecutor's office was given to the party this morning. Further, the information must be provided to Zamoskvoretskaya Interdistrict Prosecutor's Office as early as 15:00.

The requirements put forward during the audit were launched upon request to the prosecution by the Central Electoral Commission’s chief Vladimir Churov. The latter appealed to the prosecutors after YABLOKO published on its website the so-called "Churov list" - a list of leaders of local electoral commissions, where protocols of voting were falsified or the observers were removed without any reason on the parliamentary elections voting day December 4, 2011...

Unidentified persons burnt the office of "Vechrniy Krasnokamsk" weekly published by YABLOKO
Press Release, January 28, 2012.

Fire resulting from an arson fire has completely destroyed the office of "Vechrniy Krasnokamsk" weekly this night. The founder and editor-in-chief of the weekly is Olga Kolokolova, leader of the Perm YABLOKO branch and deputy of the City Council in Krasnokamsk. Olga believes that it is a revenge by Yury Chechyotkin, the city Mayor, for journalists’ investigation into his embezzlement of budget funds allocated for housing repairs in the city...

In April 2011, unknown persons assailants beat Olga Kolokolova’s father – deputy of the Krasnokamsk City Duma Arkady Kolokolov. He helped the crew of the "Riphey-Perm" television company, which investigated the circumstances of the repairs in the TSZh Parkovoi. The contractor hired by the managing company providing services for the house received 4.5 million rubles, but the works were not completed...

In addition, in November 2011, on the eve of the parliamentary elections of December 4, 2011 and the Legislative Assembly of the Perm Area, Svetlana Ivanova, candidate from the YABLOKO party was attacked by an unidentified person. She was hit on the head, the blow broke the frontal bone. She will remain disabled...

ALDE statement on the situation in Russia
Press Release, ALDE PACE, January 25, 2012

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe unanimously condemns the latest developments in Russia which severely compromise the possibility for free and fair presidential elections on 4 March 2012...

YABLOKO leader indignant at the refusal of the Moscow authorities to coordinate the route of the march of February 4
Press Release, January 25, 2012.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed his indignation at the refusal of the Moscow authorities to coordinate and give a permission to the march scheduled on February 4. The march continues the actions launched after parliamentary elections of December 4 that had demonstrated unprecedented fraud.

"The decision of the Moscow Mayor’s office provokes tension,” Mitrokhin said. “Neither broad pubic [gathering for the march via Internet] nor we can agree to the route they proposed to us (from the Luzhniki Stadium to the Krimskiy bridge),” he noted...

Picket in favour of registration of Grigory Yavlinsky at presidential elections in Nizhny Novgorod
Press Release, January 25, 2012.

Picket in favour of registration of Grigory Yavlinsky at presidential elections took place at the Teatralnaya square in Nizhny Novgorod on January 23, 2012.

The participants of the action held placards “YABLOKO for Fair Elections!”, “YES to Elections! NO to Churov*!” and “Elections Without Yavlinsky Means Elections Without Choice!”

The picketers chanted “Yavlinsky Is Our President!”, “Honesty to the Central Electoral Commission and the “Magician”** , Go to the Circus!” and “Let elections be fair!”...

Grigory Yavlinsky proposed to St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly to create a commission for investigation of election fraud at elections
Press Release, January 25, 2012.

Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO leader and head of the YABLOKO faction in St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly, proposed to St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly to create a commission for investigation of election fraud at parliamentary elections of December 4, 2011.

19 deputies out of 50 voted for this proposal. The United Russia and the LDPR factions did not participate in the voting. Thus, the decision on creation of such a commission failed...

Once again about the lies and legitimacy (to the theory of the issue of the change of the regime)

Grigory Yavlinsky’s Live Journal, January 11, 2012
I am offering you this article without any changes. Today my understanding of the essence of our sociopolitical crisis and programme for its overcoming are virtually the same. These ideas result from long work and much reflection. This is a search for an alternative…


People take flight

The Russian political regime today, which emerged after 1991 and was formed over the past decade, has still not created a modern state.

As a result, we are witnessing today an unremitting chasm that is deepening and is being transformed into an insurmountable rift between the authorities and the people, the state and society.

This is not a temporary credibility gap, but rather a systematic problem. The high ratings of the country’s leader do not attest to public support for the powers that be. The vast difference in the public trust shown in these individuals and all other state institutions attests to the ultimate instability and fragility of the entire Russian state construct...

Moscow Mayor prohibits rallies at Chistiye Prudi
Press Release, January 11, 2012.

Such a decision by the Moscow authority was announced to the organiser of the rally that have to take place this Saturday and introduce the so-called “Churov List” (Ed. The list includes the names of people engaged in the parliamentary elections fraud). It was planned to conduct the rally by Griboyedov Monument at Chistiye Prudi.
Earlier the bureaucrats had refused to allow a rally at this place under a pretext of paving the square...

Levada-Centre: YABLOKO supporters turn up for the rally on December 24
Press Release, December 26, 2011.

According to the Levada-Center poll, 37.6 percent of the participants of the rally at the Sakharov Prospect voted for the YABLOKO party. One out of four is ready to support YABLOKO, even if the leaders of unregistered opposition movements manage to create their own parties by the next elections. YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky was the most popular politician for the participants in the rally (24.4 percent). Every third participant of the rally for fair elections would be ready to support his candidacy at the forthcoming presidential elections. These are the results of the public opinion poll conducted by Levada-Center...

Grigory Yavlinsky at the rally: "Our goal is to change the system"
Press Release, December 24, 2011.

In his speech at the rally on December 24 YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky called the coming presidential elections "the second round" which should be won and lead to making Russia an open and free European country.

"The [parliamentary] elections of December 4 were the first round and judging by what we see here now we have not lost it," Yavlinsky told addressing a 100,000 rally. "The second round is presidential election, and we can not vote there for any candidate".

"We should have our candidate, we should fight for the second round, we must make it into the second round! Next year we should change the political system!" he said.

"Our goal can be reduced to only evicting some persons from the power, our goal is to change the corrupt, bribable, deceitful and really illegitimate system," Yavlinsky noted...

In conclusion Grigory Yavlinsky called the authorities to free one of the organizers of the rallies Sergei Udaltsov who had been kept under arrest despite his health condition. "Do not be so cruel, ghoulish and petty, stop torturing him, release this man," he said.

Director of a cinema in Tuapse dismissed for refusal to rig the results of the voting
Press Release, December 23, 2011.

The Krasnodar branch of the YABLOKO party expresses its protest in view of dismissal of Elena Kovalyova, Director of cinema theatre “Russia” in Tuapse. YABLOKO stated that Kovalyova was fired in violation of the Labor Code, but the real reason behind the dismissal was her principled stand against election fraud.

YABLOKO members are going to apply to the Ministry of Culture and the Department of Culture of the Krasnodar Area with a statement running that such violations of the labour law are inadmissible...

Over 40 per cent of votes were stolen from the YABLOKO party in Saratov
Press Release, December 21, 2011.

The Saratov branch of YABLOKO stated mass-scale fraud at elections to the State Duma in the region. Comparison of the data from the protocols given to observers at local electoral commissions with the data published by the Central Electoral Commission demonstrated a discrepancy amounting to thousands votes. Votes given for different parties were ascribed to the ruling United Russia party.

Thus 6,433 votes were added to United Russia at 23 Saratov polling stations, which raised the result of the ruling party by 41.62 per cent. These votes were stolen from other parties: YABLOKO lost 574 votes (i.e. 41.02 per cent of its vote). For example, 110 votes were stolen from YABLOKO at polling station 128: the Central Electoral Commission web-site indicated that only 12 votes were given for YABLOKO instead of 122 votes as of the protocol...

Last week YABLOKO submitted the first eight suits to eight Moscow courts demanding to cancel the results of the voting at eight polling stations.

YABLOKO begins compiling the 'Churov List'
Press Release, December 20, 2011.

The YABLOKO party began compiling the ‘Churov List’. The list will contain names of heads (chairs, deputy chairs and secretaries) of electoral commissions with documentary evidence of grave violations of the law...

“It should become shameful to be engaged in an election fraud. The circle around those engaged in fraud should tell them that such actions are a disgrace. Our list is aiming at formation of such a climate,” said YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin...

YABLOKO Congress called people to become observers from YABLOKO at the forthcoming elections
Press Release, December 19, 2011.

...The decision of the Congress runs that YABLOKO does not recognize the results of the parliamentary elections, considers the State Duma formed via rigged voting illegitimate and demands recognition of the elections void. Delegates of the Congress also indicated that collection of signatures for participation in election campaigns for non-parliamentary parties should be abolished, also the threashold for passing into the State Duma should be reduced to 3 per cent. It was also stressed that all the political organisations wishing to take part in elections should have access to elections and public organizations should get the right to nominate observers for elections...

Despite massive fraud, the results of the party demonstrated sufficient increase of its support: even according to the Central Electoral Commission data, YABLOKO was supported by 2.3 million voters. This support was the highest support in the large cities (as of the official data below): over 10 per cent in St Petersburg and Petrozavodsk, over 8 per cent in Moscow and Pskov, over 7 per cent in Yekaterinburg, Arkhangelsk, Tver, Perm and Tomsk, over 6 per cent in Irkutsk , Murmansk, Yaroslavl, Tula, Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk, Vladivostok, over 5 per cent in Rostov-upon-Don, Vologda, Kaluga, Krasnoyarsk, Samara, Novgorod, Volgograd, Ivanovo, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the Khanty-Mansiysk, Vladimir, Omsk , Khabarovsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Ryazan and Kostroma. In the 31 regions the party won over 3 per cent.

Grigory Yavlinsky: "The outcome of the presidential elections is not foredoomed"
Press Release, December 19, 2011.

Grigory Yavlinsky submitted to the Central Election Commission (CEC) the documents on his nomination to run in presidential elections in Russia in March 2012. The decision on nomination of Grigory Yavlinsky, the founder of the YABLOKO party, was adopted by the party congress on December 18.

Now, the CEC must within five days register authorized representatives of the party and its candidate and give them a permission to open the electoral account. Printing of lists for collection of 2 mln of signatures in favour of Grigory Yavlinsky required for his registration of a candidate in presidential campaign will be paid from this account...

Grigory Yavlinsky becomes presidential candidate from the YABLOKO party
Press Release, December 18, 2011.

The majority (106 out of 109) delegates of the YABLOKO Congress nominated Grigory Yavlinsky candidate for presidential elections in Russia.

"The result of the [State Duma] elections leaves us no doubt that we have far more than two million supporters needed for the party to register in the presidential elections," Grigory Yavlinsky said.

He also said that the election campaign is not a purely political procedure, it is "a discussion with the citizens of a possibility and a need of different policies that should be conducted on different moral grounds".

"The result of the State Duma elections demonstrated that alternative policy is in demand in the society. And this should be moral and programmed based policies," he added...

We know that the enemy is using dirty tricks, that he is stronger and that the judges are bribed. But we will still go all the way and will fight honestly.

And no one will be able to reproach us that we threw the towel on the ring before the fight, got frightened and refused to fight.

YABLOKO will participate in the presidential elections. And I ask all of you to support us. If a fighter feels support from the stands, his strength is doubled, and I know that from my own experience...

A 5,000 rally against election fraud have just ended at Bolotnaya square, Moscow
Press Release, December 17, 2011.

A rally for fair elections and against election fraud have just ended at Bolotnaya square, Moscow. The rally organised by the YABLOKO party have gathered 5,000 people. Grigory Yavlinsky, Vladimir Milov, leader of the Democratic Choice movement, Vladimir Ryzhkov, co-chair of PARNAS, representatives of Just Russia Dmitry Gudkov and Ilya Ponomaryov, Boris Nadezhdin, head of the Moscow region branch of the Right Cause, leaders of public organisations and movements and citizens who acted as observers at the election of December 4 spoke at the rally.

The resolution of the rally was read by Grigory Yavlinsky. The participants of the rally demanded immediate release of all those detained during protest actions against election fraud, abrogation of the results of the voting, investigation of the fraud and punishment of those guilty of fraud...

Yabloko Activist Arrested at an Opposition Rally
LI News Bulletin, Issue 263, December 16, 2011

Konstantin Smirnov, one of the leaders of the Ryazan branch of Yabloko (LI full-member) was arrested for 7 days for allegedly “disobeying the lawful orders of the police” for participation in the “For Fair Elections” rally organized in Ryazan on December 8. Such an act was clearly politically motivated as a video of Simonov's detention shows that he did not disobey police orders. This follows the biggest protests organized since the collapse of the Soviet Union over the highly disputed Parliamentary elections in the country which took place last week. The leader of Yabloko, Sergei Mitrokhin, has asked the Head of the Central Electoral Commission, Vladimir Churov, to voluntarily leave his post saying “it is Churov who is personally responsible for the scope of the fraud that took place in the country on the voting day.” LI Vice-President on the Bureau and Chair of LI Human Rights Committee, Abir Al-Sahlani MP, was part of an OSCE election observer mission in Russia and witnessed first-hand the mass violations committed during the electoral process.

Civil activists and politicians to make speeches at a rally on December 17
Press Release, December 16, 2011.

Rally “For Free and Fair Elections” will take place at Bolotnaya square tomorrow on December 17 at 1 p.m. The rally is organised by the YABLOKO party. “We applied for a permission to conduct a rally right after we realized that votes of our electorate were stolen at these elections,” Sergei Mitrokhin explained. According to Mitrokhin, the goal is to “join together civil activists and new people who are showing their civil will towards changes”.“We have to discuss all together how we will fight for a new Russia,” he stressed.

The speakers at the rally will be Grigory Yavlinsky, Eugeniya Chirikova, Vladimir Milov, Ilya Ponomaryov, Gennadi Gudkov and Lev Ponomaryov. The rally will be monitored by Sergei Mitrokhin. Such public and political organisations as the White Ribbon, Blue Buckets, the Federation of Automobile Owners, the Party of People’s Freedom, the Democratic Choice, the Left Front, Memorial and the Moscow Helsinki Group will participate in the rally.

Telephone terrorists try to block work of YABLOKO's office on the threashold of tomorrow's rally
Press Release, December 16, 2011.

Telephone terrorists again try to hamper work of YABLOKO's office blocking party telephones on the threashold of tomorrow’s rally against election fraud...

The calls are coming in a chain, as soon as a telephone hook is pressed there comes a new call. The caller can not be identified.

The new attack is connected with tomorrow’s rally against election fraud which will take place at Bolotnaya square at 1 p.m...

Freedom to Sergei Udaltsov!
Statement by YABLOKO leaders. December 15, 2011.

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO demands to immediately stop a cruel and potentially deathful treatment of Sergei Udaltsov.

The police actions are threatening his health and life.

The decision of the court of the first instance on his 15 days arrest bases on trumped-up pretests and does not take into account the medical condition of Sergei Udaltsov.

Sergei Udaltsov must be immediately released so that to give him an opportunity for proper medical treatment.

We emphasize once again, the question at issues is human life.

Sergei Mitrokhin

Grigory Yavlinsky

Konstantin Smirnov, one the leaders of the Ryazan branch of YABLOKO and a journalist from Novaya Gazeta, arrested for 7 days
Press Release, December 14, 2011.

Today a Ryazan court of the first instance passed a verdict on a seven days arrest to Kostantin Smirnov, one the leaders of the Ryazan branch of YABLOKO and a journalist from oppositional Novaya Gazeta, arrested for 7 days.

The verdict based on the Article “Disobeying to the lawful orders of police” for participation in the For the Fair Elections rally which took place in Ryazan on December 8.

The verdict was obviously politicized as the video of Simonov’s detention demonstrated that he did not disobey to the police orders. After voicing of the verdict in the court Smirnov gave to the judge a mask saying that “now you should be ashamed to show undisguised in the streets, the mask will help you to hide your face”.

Another journalist from Novaya Gazeta Sergei Yezhov was sentenced to 9 days of arrest by court.

You can sign a petition in support of arrested journalists at the Ryazan web-site of Novaya Gazeta...

YABLOKO congress to decide of party participation in the presidential elections
Press Release, December 14, 2011.

The second phase of the 16th Congress of the YABLOKO party will take place on Sunday, December 18. The Congress will adopt a decision on YABLOKO participation in the presidential election...

The congress will begin its work at 12-00.

The congress will be opened by YABLOKO leaders Sergei Mitrokhin and Grigory Yavlinsky.

A briefing by the party leaders will begin at 16-00...

Participants of the civil rally of December 17 are to answer the question: what to do next?
Press Release, December 14, 2011.

A civil rally will take place at Bolotnaya square, Moscow, on December 17, 2011, at 1 p.m. The key question put forward before the Russian civil society: what to do next?

The YABLOKO party organizing the rally is calling all the civil activists and organisations to gather together so that to answer this question.

As of today the following organisations have already confirmed their participation: The White Ribbon movement, the Moscow Helsinki Group, the Memorial society, For the Human Rights movement, Eugenia Chirikova and her Movement for Protection of Khimki Forest, The Left Front, Solidarnost, PARNAS and the Democratic Choice...

Rally "For Fair Elections!" to take place in Moscow, Bolotnaya square, on December 17 at 1 p.m.
Press Release, December 13, 2011.

Civil rally "For Fair Elections!" scheduled on December 17 at 1 p.m. will take place in Moscow, Bolotnaya square (not at the Pushkin square as announced earlier).

The rally is organised by the YABLOKO party...

Sergei Mitrokhin demands dismissal of head of the Central Electoral Commission Vladimir Churov
Press Release, December 11, 2011.

At his speech in the Central Electoral Commission on December 9, 2011, YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin asked head of the Central Electoral Commission Vladimir Churov to voluntarily leave his post. “It is you who are personally responsible for the scope of fraud taking place in the country [on the voting day],” Mitrokhin told to Churov. He specially stressed that YABLOKO was going to demand dismissal from head of the Central Electoral Commission “in the State Duma and other state bodies”.

“If you, our respected Central Electoral Commission, do not announce re-counting of the votes all over the country today, than it will take place in the streets,” Mitrokhin concluded.

YABLOKO: We will sweep Putin's group from power
Press Release, December 10, 2011.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin in his speech at the rally at Bolotnaya Square, Moscow, said the number of participants of the rally allowed to speak with the authorities on behalf of Russia's people. "We are here to say to the ruling group: stop stealing votes at elections, stop stealing power from us," Mitrokhin said...

Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO top candidate and founder of the party, thanked all who voted for YABLOKO and promised that the party would protect the votes of all the people who had come to elections.

Yavlinsky said that YABLOKO had already forwarded a complained to the Central Electoral Commission demanding to cancel the results of the voting. “However, the Central Electoral Commission did not take our complaint saying that the campaign is over. It is not true! It’s only the beginning of the campaign!” he added.

Provocation against the leader of the Karelia branch of YABLOKO
Statement by the YABLOKO party, December 8, 2011.

The YABLOKO party considers prosecution of Vassily Popov, [leader of the Karelian branch of YABLOKO], be politically motivated. This is an obvious consequence of YABLOKO’s victory in the elections to the Legislative Assembly of the region and a high regional vote for the party in the elections to the State Duma, this provocation means an attempt to discredit someone who was able to get such high support from the population.

On December 6 Vassily Popov, member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee and leader of the Karelia regional branch of the party, became a victim of a provocation. During a staged road accident a small dose of drugs was stuffed into his car. People (non-residents of the area) who provoked the accident and witnessed that the drugs allegedly fell from Popov’s pocket were not checked by the police. Medical examination showed that Popov had not used drugs, however, the case was transferred to the court of the first instance...

YABLOKO successful despite electoral fraud and intimidations
ELDR Press Release, December 8, 2011.

Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Russia in which the share of the vote for the ruling United Russia party fell to below 50% and the protests that have been taking place the last few days in which increasing numbers of people have been making their feelings known about the lack of free and fair elections provide signs of hope for the free and democratic future of Russia, not only that Russian people are fed up with the current regime, but also that they are willing to be more out spoken and to show their displeasure with the way the elections were conducted.

However, the voting and counting procedures themselves were riddled with claims of fraud, corruption and intimidation. ELDR member party YABLOKO was the only democratic opposition party allowed to participate and, as such, its activists and voters were subjected to high levels of intimidation and restrictions. Election observers faced a similar set of circumstances and the OSCE has reported fraudulent procedural violations and instances of apparent manipulations, including serious indications of ballot box stuffing...

Liberal Statement on the Election in Russia
Statement by the Liberal Party of Canada, December 8, 2011

OTTAWA— Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today on the recent election in Russia: "The people of Russia have voted and have sent a strong message rejecting the kind of one-party political domination that United Russia has been trying to implement. The election results and the subsequent protests demonstrate the need for the Russian political process to be opened up to allow for the creation of an effective opposition that would provide voters with a meaningful alternative rather than the ideological alternatives of communists and nationalists. The Liberal Party calls on authorities to ensure that a viable political space is opened up for an opposition that is fully committed to democracy."

Liberal Foreign Affairs critic Dominic LeBlanc continued: "The recent election results, with incredible outcomes of more than 90% of the population voting for United Russia in some regions, have demonstrated how much more needs to be done to build an effective democracy in Russia. A strong commitment to making democracy work from all the major political forces in Russia can lead to positive change for the Russian people. We are also concerned with the tactics being used to deal with political demonstrations. As we have seen on repeated occasions this year legitimate protest cannot be effectively stifled by force. We believe that it is important that Russians be given the opportunity to express their commitment to building a democratic Russia"...

On-line broadcasting from the rally against election fraud, December 10, 2011.


"Russian Elections Showed Many Shortcomings…" says LI VP Abir Al-Sahlani
LI News Bulletin, Issue 262, December 9, 2011

Returning from an OSCE election observer mission in Russia, LI Vice-President on the Bureau, Abir Al-Sahlani, expressed a great concern about the way in which the recent Parliamentary elections were conducted in the country. She commented saying "democracy is not only about the election day itself but also about the process before, during and after the elections. The situation is worrisome and it will require closer attention, especially with the upcoming presidential elections in March 2012." Yabloko (LI full-member) leader, Sergei Mitrokhin, also dismissed the election results as illegitimate due to the mass violations committed during the electoral process. Based on these results Yabloko obtained only around 3 % of the popular vote thus falling 4% short of making it to the State Duma or the Russian Parliament. Mitrokhin was detained by the Russian riot police at an opposition rally in Moscow but was later released after showing his certificate of candidate to the State Duma (until the official announcement of the election results candidates can be detained only with a Prosecutor's order).

SCHUSTER: Putin spaltet mit Gewalt statt mit Reformen zu einen
FDP Press Release, December 7, 2011.

BERLIN. Anlässlich der Festnahmen von hunderten Demonstranten in Russland erklärt die Sprecherin für Menschenrechte und humanitäre Hilfe der FDP-Bundestagsfraktion Marina SCHUSTER:

Das Vorgehen russischer Sicherheitskräfte gegen friedliche oppositionelle Demonstranten verurteilt die FDP-Bundestagsfraktion auf das Schärfste. Die vorübergehenden Festnahmen des früheren Vize-Regierungschefs Boris Nemzow, des Oppositionspolitikers Sergej Mitrochin von der liberalen Jabloko-Partei sowie die Inhaftierung von Journalisten und Menschenrechtlern sind eine weitere Stufe der Unterdrückung von menschenrechtlichen Grundprinzipien in Russland. Während Putin noch vor und während der jüngsten Wahl zur Duma versucht hatte, mit zahlreichen Manipulationen und Einschüchterungen die "Wahlen" zu seinen Gunsten zu entscheiden, bekämpft er nun mit offener Gewalt die Bestrebungen der Demonstranten für mehr Demokratie und Rechtstaatlichkeit.
Die Kader der Regierungspartei Einiges Russland mit Putin und Medwedew an der Spitze zeigen ihr wahres Gesicht und bekämpfen die Rechte auf Meinungs- und Versammlungsfreiheit sowie körperliche Unversehrtheit durch Festnahmen und Repressionen. So schaffen Putin und Medwedew weder Stabilität noch Vertrauen in Russland, sondern zeigen wie hoch nervös sie in Wahrheit sind. Sie fürchten den berechtigten Zorn der Bürger... MORE

Mitrokhin released, Gontcharov and Dmitryev still in the police
Press Release, December 7, 2011.

Three hours after his detention YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin was released without any charges. However, studying of the law “On Elections” stipulating the candidate to the State Duma may be detained only on Prosecutor’s order took the police three hours.

At 7 p.m. Mitrokhin and YABLOKO activists came to Triumfalnaya square so that to participate in the protest action against election fraud and breaking of a rally of December 5...

On December 17 YABLOKO plans to conduct a sanctioned rally against election fraud. The action will be held in the centre of Moscow by Pushkin monument.

YABLOKO has evidence of election fraud
CNN news, Video in English. December 6, 2011.

Sergei Mitrokhin brought to the Meschanskoye police department
Press Release, December 6, 2011.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin is detained at a rally at Triumfalnaya square, Moscow. Now he is in the OMON (riot police) bus together with 30 other detained.

Kirill Gontcharov, leader of the Youth YABLOKO, is also in one of the buses together with 20 other detained. They have not yet arrived to any police department as the police have been calling their bosses asking where to take the detained. It should be also noted that passers-by who did not participate in the rally were also detained and are in the same bus with Kirill. Journalist Bazhena Rynska who was sent to Triumfalnaya square by her paper is in same bus with Kirill.

Protesters are still coming to the square. According to different estimates, there were about 2,000 people as of 8 p.m., however, it is difficult to give a precise assessment as supporters of the opposition are "split" by police into smaller groups and ousted to the neighbouring streets. Police does not allow the protester to come to the square. However, the police and OMON (riot police) are defending the rally of the Nashi, pro-Kremlin youth movement, and supporters of the ruling United Russia chanting "Medvedev, Victory!" ...

Sergei Mitrokhin detained during a rally at Triumfalnaya square, Moscow
Press Release, December 6, 2011.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin is detained at a rally at Triumfalnaya square, Moscow. Now he is in the OMON (riot police) bus together with 30 other detained...

Kirill Gontcharov is also detained. Journalist Bazhena Rynska is in same bus with Kirill.

The square is at present circled by young supporters of the ruling United Russia party. They are chanting “Medvedev, Victory!” and hold placards with Medvedev’s photograph.

Mitrokhin pointed out to policemen an obvious violation of the law – the actions of United Russia supporters that can be qualified as an unsanctioned rally and these young people should be detained.

Several hundreds supporters of the opposition who have already arrived to the rally can not get to the square, but they are chanting their slogans. People are squeezed on the pavements between exits from the metro station and the square. Policemen oust people to Tverskaya-Yamskaya square, tearing someone out of the crowd and taking them to police cars...

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO thanks all who has voted for Russia’s democratic future
Statement by the YABLOKO party, December 4, 2011.

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO thanks all who has voted for Russia’s democratic future.

Looks like the answer to the significant question of the voting day has been given by television before the real counting of the votes: there will be no democratic faction in the State Duma. Passing into the Duma of the old Russian nomenclature factions was predetermined and the redistribution of mandates between them is not that important...

These elections persuaded us once again that our duty is to continue movement towards democracy – a real democracy which Russia has not had.

The first step will be strengthening of YABLOKO’s links with active citizens who came to us during the campaign for determination of the strategy and tactics how to oppose the arbitrary rule and violations of the law that, without doubt, will only increase and built new networks of civil political action.

Do not loose hope or loose your heart!

Time is with us! Russia needs our victory! Russia demands changes!..

YABLOKO made local electoral commission recognize its victory at a Moscow polling station
Press Release, December 5, 2011.

Local electoral commission had to recognize YABLOKO’s victory at Moscow polling station No 1707 where YABLOKO won with 25.38 per cent.

Throughout the night observers and YABLOKO’s candidates opposed members of the electoral commission who did not want to sign the final protocol.

According to the protocol (which was hanged on the wall of the polling station) YABLOKO obtained 235 votes (25.38 per cent), followed by the CPRF with 217 votes (23.65 per cent) and the ruling United Russia came third with 192 votes (20.73 per cent). However, members of the electoral commission refused to sign such protocol as final (the observers had to get the copies of this protocol)...

Observer from the communist party: YABLOKO obtained over 19 per cent but their votes were spread between other parties
Gazeta.ru, December 5, 2011.

Natalya Yarigina, observer from the COPRF (the communist party) in polling station No 2637 in Moscow, was detained by the police after she refused to redistribute YABLOKO’s votes between United Russia, CPRF and Just Russia parties and then called head of the electoral commission a “groveller”, Yarigina told to Gazeta.ru.

“Head of the commission Nadezhda Gazina attacked me with fists when I asked her if she like to be a groveller. Then her husband joined her. They were pulled off by the students who were with us at the polling station. Gazina complained on me at the police stating that I had allegedly beaten her, now I am taken to the police department and they are going to file a criminal case against me,” Yarigina said.

According to Yarigina, head of the electoral commission offered a bribe to all the members of the electoral commission in exchange for their “help” in counting of the votes given for YABLOKO in favour of other parties passing into the State Duma. “She explained us that everything had been determined already and nothing depended on us, and this made me revolt. At our polling station YABLOKO obtained 19.2 per cent. However, they probably do not have it now already,” added the detained...

Police is ousting into the street observers preventing stuffing of faked bulletins in favour of the ruling party in a Moscow polling station
Gazeta.ru, December 5, 2011.

Nine hours after the voting at polling station No 2648 at Ramenki street, Moscow, was finished, policemen who refused to give their names, ousted observers with a consultative voice from the polling station, Alexandra Borisova, one of the observers, told to Gazeta.ru.

“Throughout all this time we have been preventing stuffing in of [faked] 182 ballots in favour of the [ruling] United Russia. Consequently, after Svetlana Makskova, head of the local electoral commission, called the police Sergei Ovchinnikov, representative of a territorial electoral commission came and ordered the police to throw us behind the door,” Borisova told. According to her, after the first counting of the votes, the first place is taken by the CPRF, the second is shared by United Russia and YABLOKO, but the electoral commission refuses to approve the final results of the voting. “Now they are preparing to stuff in [faked bulletins in favour of the ruling party]. In addition to 182 bulletins we have detected, we suspect that they are ready for a mass-scale fraud. There are 2,017 voters registered at the polling station, and 1,800 bulletins were taken. According to our estimations, 958 people have voted since the beginning of the voting. And only 294 bulletins were left, the question is where over 400 bulletins are gone,” Borisova said...

On the work of YABLOKO’s head quarters
Press Release, December 2, 2011.

YABLOKO’s head quarters will be opened for journalists from 12:00 on December 4 until morning December 5.

Address: Pyatnitskaya ul 31/2 bldg 2 (metro stations Novokuznetskaya and Tretyakovskaya).

Journalists will be able to observe the work of 30 hot line operators. Table with violations (from all the regions) will be broadcasted on a large screen.

Also dozens of mobile groups comprised of lawyers, candidates to the State Duma and journalists will work in Moscow. Mobile groups will visit the most problematic electoral districts with reported violations.

The first briefing will take place in the headquarters at 15:00. At this briefing YABLOKO leaders will report the observed violations and answer questions.

The second briefing will take place at 23:00. At this briefing YABLOKO leaders will report the observed violations and draw preliminary results of the elections...

Grigory Yavlinsky to make a speech at YABLOKO's election observers school

Press Release, December 2, 2011

Today on December 2, Grigory Yavlinsky will make a speech at YABLOKO’s election observers school.

The school starts at 3 p.m.

Address: Pyatnitskaya 31/2, bldg 2, Moscow

Candidate to run in presidential elections from the democratic opposition will be determined at primaries
Press Release, December 1, 2011.

The YABLOKO party will participate in the presidential elections scheduled on March 2012. YABLOKO’s candidate to run in the elections will be Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO founder and member of the party Political Committee. Such a statement was made by YABLOKO Chair Sergei Mitrokhin at his press-conference in Vladimir.

According to Mitrokhin, such a decision was adopted by the Political Committee.

However, Mitrokhin also noted that YABLOKO would be ready to discuss other candidacies from the democratic opposition. “We are not imposing our candidate, but we offer to discuss all the candidacies during primaries, and we invite all the democratic parties, organisations and movements in spite of the fact whether they were registered or not to participate in such primaries,” Mitrokhin said...

"Putin has been in power for 12 years already and is going to stay for another 12-year term. How do you like it?"
RBC Daily, December 1, 2011. Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Olga Zhermeleva

Grigory Yavlinsky: Corruption and lawlessness reached such a scope that the gap between the society and the state became only broader. And in Russia revolutions and coups d’etat happen exactly when the gap between the society and the state becomes deep, not during wars or famine or epidemics. Such was the case in 1917 and 1991. A disruption and a disaster. And not one comes into the streets to protest when the state disappears. And then a republic emerges on the place of an empire. And everyone is happy. And then the republic is taken over by bandits who set a dictatorship for 80 years.

Question: And is radicalisation of the views and a new coup d’etat possible today?

Grigory Yavlinsky: No, there will be no coup d’etats. A collapse is more likely. The regime cannot help getting weaker. When a wall is falling down you can try and prop it, but when all the bricks are falling down – it can not be helped.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin made a statement in support of the Golos association

Press Release, November 30, 2011

YABLOKO expresses protest in view of intimidation of Golos, an independent association engaged in election monitoring. The ruling United Russia party, A Just Russia party and LDPR launched an intimidation campaign against Golos asking Prosecutor General to suspend Golos monitoring of violations during this parliamentary election campaign and on the voting day December 4.

“It is not surprising that the [ruling] United Russia party does not like the activities by Golos… Speaking about participation of LDPR and A Just Russia parties in this disgusting campaign against Golos, this completely unmasks the hypocrisy of these parties advocating fair elections in words only, but actually servicing to the ruling party helping the latter to intimidate the most respected Russian public organisation engaged in elections control,” runs YABLOKO’s statement.

“YABLOKO will continue its cooperation with Golos and will continue supporting this organisation by all legal means,” Sergei Mitrokhin said.

Galina Mikhalyova met with CIS observers for the Russian parliamentary elections

Press Release, November 29, 2011

Today, on November 29, Galina Mikhalyova, Executive Secretary of YABLOKO Political Committee, met with CIS observers for the Russian parliamentary elections: Vladimir Garkun, head of the mission and First Deputy Head of the CIS Executive Committee, and Eugeny Sloboda.

The observers told about the tasks of the CIS mission comprising over 200 observers...

Electoral Mutiny in TV Ad Ban

The Moscow Times, November 29, 2011

Campaign ads by opposition parties have been banned on state television by order of the head of the Central Elections Commission, who has no authority to do so, Vedomosti reported Monday.
Vladimir Churov's actions prompted a mutiny among the commission's working group, whose job is to review such videos, but which was only asked to do so after they were banned, the newspaper said.
State-owned broadcaster VGTRK announced last week that it was banning videos by Yabloko, A Just Russia and the Liberal Democrats following a letter from Churov, who said he suspected the ads promoted extremism and targeted other parties...

The original publication by the Moscow Times

Yabloko 'Veggies' Ad Banned by Metro

The Moscow Times, November 28, 2011

The head of the Moscow metro ordered election ads for the opposition party Yabloko to be removed from stations and then threatened to cancel a long-term contract with the advertising company involved, the political group claimed.
In a statement posted on its web site Friday, Yabloko — Russian for apple — said stickers reading: "Tired of vegetables? Vote for YABLOKO" that were posted Nov. 2 to 3 at the entrances to 85 stations were removed just days later.
The removal followed a letter from metro chief Ivan Besedin to the advertising company Avto Sell, saying the notices "grossly violated" conditions on political advertising, which require prior approval by metro officials and City Hall's media department...

The original publication by the Moscow Times

New ELDR President elected

Press Release, November 29, 2011

ELDR congress convening in Palermo, Italy, on November 23-25, elected Sir Graham Watson,
one of the leaders of British liberal democrats, new President of the European Liberal Democrats and Reformers party. Sir Graham has been member of the European Parliament since 1994. In 2002-2009 he headed the liberal faction in the European Parliament and during Russian elections in 2003 visited Russia as guest of the YABLOKO party. "It is our job as Liberals to explain how we offer a real, principled and economically responsible alternative to the behemoths of conservatism and socialism,” said Sir Graham.

YABLOKO candidate attacked in the Perm region

Press Release, November 28, 2011

Mrs.Svetlana Ivanova, YABLOKO candidate to the MPs of the Perm region, was attacked in the Kondratovo village near Perm two hours ago. She was taken to hospital with cerebral contusion and thighbone fracture. Doctors assess her condition as critical.

At 22:30 Svetlana Ivanova was leaving the building where she met with activists. An unknown person approached her from the back, hit her on the head and disappeared. None of her personal belongings was missing.

Olga Kolokolova, leader of the party list in elections to the Legislative Assembly in Perm, and number four on YABLOKO federal list, connected the attack with Ivanova’s political activities. Kolokolova said that a large-scale campaign against YABLOKO was launched in the region. Leaflets with libel against YABLOKO candidates regularly appear in the streets. However, printing of YABLOKO campaign materials is hampered...

Internet refutes data of published public opinion polls

Press Release, November 28, 2011

About a quarter (23.7 per cent) of Russian Internet users vote for the YABLOKO party at the Russian parliamentary elections. Such data were obtained via analysis of the polls of several dozen largest Russian web sites. Over 300,000 people participated in the polls.

About 60 700 people voted at the Izbircom2011.ru voted; whereas 17.1 per cent out of the total gave their votes to YABLOKO. The Rosbalt web site polled about 55,000 voters. According to these polls, YABLOKO obtained 15 per cent. The third largest poll took place on the Sobesednik web-site (35,000 people). According to this poll YABLOKO enjoyed 27 per cent...

Unknown persons plan to disrupt a rally organised by Sergei Mitrokhin and Eugenia Chirikova in Chelyabinsk

Press Release, November 18, 2011

Unknown persons plan to disrupt a rally “Chelyabinsk for the Changes!” organised by YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and Eugenia Chirikova, leader of Movement in Protection of Khimki Forest, in Chelyabinsk.

The city is full of flyers allegedly on behalf of the YABLOKO party inviting the residents to come to the rally for a fee of 1,500 roubles. Also several YABLOKO activists and supporters got SMS where they were warned of a possible fight between anarchists and neo-Nazis that may take place at the rally...

Grigory Yavlinsky: High voter turnout will protect elections from vote-rigging

Interfax, November 16, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 16 (Interfax) - Active involvement of voters in elections can be a barrier to the attempts to distort the results of the State Duma elections, said Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO party key figure.

"If the turnout is high, the percentage of falsifications and manipulations will be much smaller," he said at the Interfax press conference in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

He added that the result for his party will also depend on the turnout - the higher the turnout, the more votes and seats YABLOKO will be able to count on.

"In case of turnout over 60 per cent, we can count on a good result," he said.

Speaking of the party ticket in St. Petersburg, Yavlinsky said that in the city his party can count on higher support than average in Russia. "We can collect 15-17 per cent in St. Petersburg," he said...

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin: "In a country with such elections participation in elections is a must"

Vedomosti, November 14, 2011

Interview with YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin by Maxim Glikin, Irina Novikova

Question: The so called tandem of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin lasted three years. Do you think this model was
Sergei Mitrokhin: It was effective for the participants in the tandem themselves. As a PR stunt, it was superb. For Russia, however, it turned out to be a waste because it availed Russia nothing at all. This show was a success only for the showmen themselves. It accomplished its purpose. Part of society was deceived and pinned its hopes on Medvedev. Time was wasted, time that could have been spent more productively, in search for a genuine alternative to Putin that would have consolidated society.
Question: And did Yabloko have faith in Medvedev as an alternative to Putin?
Sergei Mitrokhin: Never. We were constantly asked who we liked more, Medvedev or Putin. We always replied that we liked
neither because there was no difference between them...

Yavlinsky Calls on Russians to Take Part in Elections

Interfax, November 10, 2011

MOSCOW. Nov 10 (Interfax) - A high turnout in the upcoming parliamentary election in Russia will cut the scale of possible falsifications, Yabloko party top candidate Grigory Yavlinsky told a Thursday press conference at the Interfax main office.

"The higher turnout is and the more people take part in the ballot, the lesser falsifications will be," he said.

Yabloko is practically the only alternative to the incumbent authorities, Yavlinsky said. "Unfortunately, no other democratic parties or groups are registered - we have always said that the denial of their registration is a violation of civil rights - and there are no other representatives expressing European modern democratic political views on the voting papers. There is no one else but Yabloko," he said...

Grigory Yavlinsky: Once I was told: “Let them elect you first, and then we will vote for you”
It is a bad principle. People must go and vote!

Novaya Gazeta, November 7, 2011

Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO leader of election list, by Andrei Lipsky and Andrei Kolesnikov

Novaya Gazeta: But will the non-democratic protest electorate not vote for the Communists and the LDPR (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia)?

Yavlinsky: Yes, they will. They certainly will, and that is the problem. Open the Radio Liberty website. There is a poll: "Whom would you vote for next Sunday?" It goes approximately like this: 30% for YABLOKO, 28% "I will not vote," but 20% for the Communists.

Novaya Gazeta: The picture is approximately the same on our website.

Yavlinsky: That is the way it is going...

Novaya Gazeta: What is the nucleus of YABLOKO's electorate today and what additions can you count on from among other political forces?

RUSSIA DEMANDS CHANGES! Electoral Program for 2011 Parliamentary Elections. Announcement

Basic guidelines for 2011- 2016. Approved by the 16th Congress of the party on September 10, 2011

OUR GOAL. The main goal of the YABLOKO party is to build via peaceful and constitutional methods a modern law-based democratic and socially oriented state serving the needs of the people and ensuring Russia’s dynamic development...
YABLOKO is participating in the elections to the State Duma in order to represent the interests of Russia’s citizens, adopt laws that will bring the country closer to a law-based democratic and socially oriented state and abolish all legislation that obstructs such a goal...

Putin Awards Opposition Journalist. By Alexander Bratersky

The Moscow Times, November 2, 2011

...But the government needs to punish the attackers to prove it is serious, said Beketov's supporters, including Yabloko party leader Sergei Mitrokhin and Yevgenia Chirikova, who heads the campaign in defense of the forest.

"If they can give Misha back his leg and the third of his brain that got smashed away, I'm all in favor," an indignant Chirikova said Tuesday, according to Gazeta.ru.

"But if this is just a way of saying, 'Oh, what a nice Misha!' by the people who have created the system that crippled him, then this is cynicism, pure and simple," she said.

Mitrokhin said by phone that he was sad the authorities didn't think about Beketov until it was too late.

"The government didn't care about him when he was lying there dying in a Khimki hospital," said Mitrokhin, who helped to transfer Beketov to a better medical facility after the attack...

The original publication by the Moscow Times

From Democracy to Freedom. The Main Task of Political Changes in Russia Is To Disparage the Plebeianism of the People and the Authorities Alike. By Alexei Melnikov.

Gazeta.ru, October 31, 2011

The thesis in liberal political circles that there is insufficient democracy in Russia is something that is obvious in itself. But the main problem, on the contrary, is the absence of aristocratism and elitism, the blending of genres, persons, and institutions.

Everything is subordinated to a kind of uniform standard based on the power of money. On this altar scientific conscientiousness, the talents of journalists, and political reputations are sacrificed. And when some kind of moneybags ascends on the political horizon, a significant part of the political community begins to shake its little wings in excitement, in the hope that the golden dust will settle on them.

In point of fact, it was in this that the main content of the "Prokhorov phenomenon" and other similar appearances of big money in Russian politics lay. This is why the general picture is painted in a single colour with different hues -instead of freely flourishing complexity, we have the emulation of plebeianism in the very worst sense of this word...

Russia clamps down on opposition before elections. By Kathy Lally

The Washington Post, October 30, 2011

...Petlin, now 38 and the only Yabloko member in the 28-seat city Duma, kept battling the shopping center. On Aug, 26, his freedom was revoked and he was taken to pretrial Detention Center No. 1, which is so overcrowded, Bashkov said, that each cell holds twice its capacity. People sleep on the floor, or take turns on the beds. Tuberculosis and hepatitis are rampant. "We are talking about innocent people who haven't been tried," he said.

A few days ago, with prosecutors still unprepared to try him, Petlin's detention was extended until Dec. 22.

"I think he had an idea about the scale of the corruption," said Petlin's wife, Tatyana, "but none of us could even imagine this"...

The original publication by the Washington Post

YABLOKO to be listed as number five in the voting bulletin

Press Release, October 28, 2011

The Central Electoral Commission held a draw for the allocation of seats on the ballot for the parliamentary elections on October 28.

Representatives of the registered parties were pulling lotto balls with their numbers in the voting ballot. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin pulled a ball with number five. Thus, YABLOKO will be listed as number five in the voting ballot...

Boris Nadezhdin from the Right Cause calls his party to vote for YABLOKO

Press Release, October 27, 2011

Boris Nadezhdin, one of the leaders of the Right Cause party has been calling voters to vote not only for his party, but also for YABLOKO. He explained to the Firstnews that voters often said that they did not wish to vote for the Right Cause [after the scandal when the party split against tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov who had chaired the party]. "I normally answer that then they have to support YABLOKO," Nadezhdin noted...

The Central Electoral Commission has registered YABLOKO’s list of candidates for the parliamentary elections

Press Release, October 27, 2011

The Central Electoral Commission has registered YABLOKO's list of candidates for the parliamentary elections. The party has been formally acknowledged a participant in the forthcoming election campaign.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin, Alexei Yablokov, number three in the party election list and head of YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction, Svetlana Kuznetsova, head of Soldiers' Mothers faction, Valery Borschyov Co-Chair of the Human Rights faction, Boris Misnik, member of Political Committee and Valery Goryachev, Executive Secretary of YABLOKO Bureau. Head of the Central Electoral Commission Vladimir Churov handed them parliamentary candidates cards.

Speaking before the Central Electoral Commission Sergei Mitrokhin expressed his "hope that these elections will be free and fair". He recollected the situation when YABLOKO did not get a single vote in favour of the party at the polling station where Mitrokhin and his family voted for YABLOKO during Moscow parliamentary elections in 2009. "I hope there will be no way for such accidents at over 100,000 Russia’s polling stations any more," Mitrokhin said.

YABLOKO’s list contains 353 candidates in 78 regional groups. The list is topped by Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO's founder, Sergei Mitrokhin, the current leader and Alexei Yablokov, head of YABLOKO's Green Russia faction...

The Council for Consolidation for Women’s Movement will not join Putin's People's Front

Press Release, October 22, 2011

Such a decision was adopted at the Council meeting which took place in Moscow on October 20.
In addition to the issue of determination of their political spectrum the participants of the Council also discussed preparation to the Moscow International Women’s Festival “The Femme Fest”, as well as their interaction with partner organisations.

The Council adopted two political decisions: on the attitude to the People’s Front and on the position as regards the parliamentary and the presidential election campaign...

Federal Security Service, hands off the students!

Grigory Yavlinsky's blog. Video. October 21, 2011

Yesterday’s developments at the Journalism Faculty of the Moscow State Lomonosov University mean idiotism which should not be repeated.

The fact that the security services work at the proposed meeting site of [of the President with the students] does not cause problems. The question is, what they do: whether they ensure safety or a nice television picture. Protesting students presented no danger to the head of state, and, judging by the information in the media, what was written on their placards was in line with the law.

These students may be a problem and a headache only for the ruling United Russia election headquarters (their electoral list is topped by the President), rather than for security services. And certainly, this "problem" should not be solved by means of detentions and preventive conversations in the police. I think that any distraction of the Federal Security Service from its main function is bad. It is harmful to the state.

YABLOKO to participate in elections to St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly for the first time in nine years

Press Release, October 16, 2011

YABLOKO list of candidates for elections to St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly has been registered by St.Petersburg Electoral Commission. "We are satisfied by the decision of the Electoral Commission," says Maxim Reznik, leader of St.Petersburg branch of YABLOKO. "For the first time in nine years residents of St.Petersburg will be able to support democratic opposition at the election to the city parliament. This is a big chance for changes for the better in every day lives of the city residents. We will do all we can so that not to miss this opportunity," Reznik adds.

YABLOKO had to collect about 40,000 voters' signatures for registration in the election campaign...

YABLOKO submitted to the Central Electoral Commission voters’ signatures for registration in the election campaign

Press Release, October 17, 2011

Today, on October 17, YABLOKO submitted to the Central Electoral Commission voters’ signatures required for party registration in the parliamentary election campaign. Party activists and YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin brought to the Central Electoral Commission 14 carton boxes decorated as wooden boxes with apples (as “YABLOKO” means “apple” in Russian). The boxes contained files with 157,471 signature and the accompanying documents. “I am certain that YABLOKO’s list will be registered,” Sergei Mitrokhin said.

The initial inspection of the financial report lasted for over an hour. Only after this the Central Electoral Commission permitted to take the boxes with signatures into the Central Electoral Commission office and launched recounting of signatures. The next stage will be a random draw of several files with signatures that will be checked by the Central Electoral Commission experts. The Commission should conduct an audit of at least 20 per cent of signatures.

The results of the audit will be announced within ten days in compliance with the law...

Grigory Yavlinsky: 'Change Is Only Possible If There Is An Alternative'

RFE/RL, The Power Vertical, October 12, 2011

The Power Vertical: When you announced your return to politics you said you said that this was one of those moments when change was truly possible. That was before United Russia held its congress on September 24 and Vladimir Putin announced his intention to return to the presidency. Do you still see a opportunity for change?

Grigory Yavlinsky: I see an even greater opportunity. People now see that if there isn't a change things will be just like they are now for another 25 years. People want the situation to change. I think Putin's return and Putin's [United Russia] congress showed people the necessity of change even more than before. The reaction in society and in the elite shows this. For example, after the congress the number of people who want to work with me and with Yabloko rose sharply. Even those who were more moderate or indifferent are now in a different mood. They have been under pressure from these conditions for such a long time. What does [Putin's return] mean? It means the preservation of the previous style and the previous agenda. It means the same faces on television. It means everything will remain the same. People can't take this anymore...

Forum 2000: The Rule of Law in Russia

Grigory Yavlinsly's speech, October 10, 2011

...The panel examined the absence of rule of law in Russia. The keynote speaker Grigory Yavlinsky distinguished this absence by the lack of independent justice, the influence of the political elite and of money. He identified three root causes of the problem: the 1917 state coup in which “a criminal group of people were taking power in Russia,” the privatization process of the 1990s, and the support of the international community for the political and economic reforms of the 1990s. Mr. Yavlinsky also stated that “Russia’s corruption is a joint venture with the West.”

William Browder then spoke on the possibility of international action putting pressure on the Russian political elite to interrupt this joint venture. While Grigory Yavlinsky later reiterated the importance of initiating change from within Russia, stating that Russian “politicians all know, personally, that it is [their] task to change the system.” Vadim Klyuvgant followed with an analysis of the Russian “dictate of law.” He insisted on individual human rights as a foundation for rule of law.

Bobo Lo continued the discussion with a distinction between the notions of “rule of law” and “rule by law” which prevails in Russia. He defined this concept as the “use and abuse, particularly, of laws and administrative regulations to support power rather than justice.” The panel recognized the validity of Yavlinsky’s view that “there is no rule of law in Russia and we must implement it.”...

YABLOKO collected 203,000 signatures for registration in the parliamentary election campaign

Press Release, Video, October 13, 2011

YABLOKO has finished its campaign for collection of signatures required for registration in the election race. On Monday, October 17, YABLOKO will submit 150,000 signatures to the Central Electoral Commission for registration in the parliamentary election campaign. According to the Russian law parties have to submit signatures to the electoral commission by 6 p.m. of October 19.

The law on parliamentary elections is very tough: it envisages that non-parliamentary parties have to collect at least 150,000 voters’ signatures; whereas a region can not give more that 5,000 signatures. Also the signatures should be collected in at least half of Russian regions.

YABLOKO’s campaign for collection of signatures lasted three weeks (from September 21) in 74 Russia’s regions which allowed to collect 203,000 voters’ signatures in favour of YABLOKO. Over 4,000 collectors of signatures took part in the campaign...

Head quarters for verification of the lists of signatures were established in YABLOKO’s Moscow office. For the past two weeks 40 people have been working there from morning till night receiving lists with signatures brought from all over the country, as the Central Electoral Commission can announce signatures void due to minor inaccuracies of the subscribers...

Grigory Yavlinsky: 'Change Is Only Possible If There Is An Alternative'

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, October 12, 2011.

I caught up with Yabloko founder Grigory Yavlinsky, who was in Prague this week to participate in the Forum 2000 conference, for a brief on-the-record chat.

We discussed a range of issues including Vladimir Putin's decision to return to the presidency, the possibility of change in Russia today, and how his strategy of working within the system differs from Boris Nemtsov and other members of the so-called "non-systemic opposition"...

YABLOKO continues collection of voters’ signatures for registration in the parliamentary election campaign

Press Release, October 7, 2011

Another action in support of YABLOKO’s list of candidates to the Russian parliament took place by the Moscow State University in Moscow. Activists made a show performance and also collected signatures required for YABLOKO’s registration in the election race.

YABLOKO’s leader at The Last Autumn forum

Press Release, October 2, 2011

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin participated in the forum of civil activists The Last Autumn taking place in the Moscow region. In his speech YABLOKO’s leader analysed Russia’s political system. According to Mitrokhin, a specific part of the society spent time on find the differences between Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev instead of searching for the alternatives. Those calling to vote for any party other than the ruling United Russia fell into another extreme, Mitrokhin said...

Party activists collected signatures for the registration of YABLOKO in the parliamentary elections campaign during the Forum. Alexei Navlany, a blogger famous for his anti-corruption investigations, put his signature in support of YABLOK. Also about 110 participants of the Forum signed for YABLOKO.

An alternative to Vladimir Putin

Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at the Echo Moskvi web-site, October 2, 2011

A game depicting an alleged conflict between Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev went on for a long time and was very exciting. A huge number of people were persuaded that the President was an alternative to the Prime Minister. Political scientists also tried to look clever saying very “smart” things. There even emerged such organisations like the Institute of Contemporarily Development, INSOR, [by Igor Yurgens] that built their modernisation concepts on such "differences" [between Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev]...

I'm not going to campaign for the YABLOKO party here, which also has never been a Kremlin’s project and has been in opposition to Vladimir Putin since 1999. I just would like to say that in case of mass-scale voting for us, the government would receive a very clear signal that the society does not need any "strong hand", but needs simply a DEMOCRATIC LAW-GOVERNED state.

The "strong hand” is not an alternative to Vladimir Putin, but a European-style democracy is such an alternative.

Yavlinsky 2.0

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, September 21, 2011.

Yabloko founder Grigory Yavlinsky, who stepped down as party chairman in 2008 and pretty much disappeared from public life ever since, made a high-profile return to the political stage this month.

He will lead Yabloko's party list in the December 4 Duma elections. He has been getting a surprising amount of media oxygen lately. And with two Kremlin-friendly projects, the pro-business Right Cause and the ostensibly center-left A Just Russia, on the skids, there might just be an opening for him to lead his party into the Duma.

"Indisputably there is one beneficiary that will gain from the [Right Cause] scandal. It is the Yabloko party, the constituency of which may be joined by part of the Right Cause consistency," political analyst Dmitry Orlov told Interfax. "My forecast is that the scandal will result in a certain increase in voter support for Yabloko party which in the future may come very close to clearing the barrier"...

Yabloko: “Putin-Medvedev Presidency Tandem Chooses Stagnation”
LI News Bulletin, Issue 252, September 29, 2011

Sergei Mitrokhin, the leader of Yabloko (LI full member) commented on the news that President Medvedev is going to head the United Russia party at the parliamentary election in December 2011 while Prime Minister Putin will run at the presidential elections in 2012 as ”nothing unexpected.” Describing the recent statement of Putin and Medvedev as simply a “rotation in the tandem”, Mitrokhin characterised the proposal as “a way towards a new stagnation rather than modernisation, and this stagnation may lead the country to the same deplorable outcome like the stagnation of Leonid Brezhnev's era.” Mitrokhin's concerns were echoed by Yabloko's top parliamentary candidate Grigory Yavlinsky, who warned that the announcement should be viewed as the emergence of a “new political reality” and that the system “created during Putin's presidency implies that it should be maintained for another 12 years, and perhaps 24 years, that is, until 2036.” Emphasising that a return to valid elections at all levels is the only solution, the Yabloko leaders called on citizens to voice their disapproval at the parliamentary elections in December...

YABLOKO managed to collect half of the required voters’ signatures to get registration at parliamentary elections

Press Release, September 28, 2011

YABLOKO managed to collect about 80,000 signatures out of 157,000 required for registration of the party in the parliamentary election campaign.

The law envisages the number of signatures from a region should not exceed 5,000. Three YABLOKO’s regional branches (in St.Petersburg, Saratov and Kirov regions) have already accomplished this task.

Over 4,000 thousands were collected in each of the four regions: Voronezh, Tomsk, Omsk and Kurgan regions...

Grigory Yavlinsky: There is an alternative

Grigory Yavlinsky's blog. Video. September 27, 2011

...Because if this system does not change, then it will impossible to amend or rebuild it a few years. And we can influence the developments only within a very short period - in 2.5 months through elections to the State Duma. Whatever they are! And at presidential elections that come in six months... We should show that there is an alternative for the country at these elections. And yet – I am stressing the word “yet” here - we can do it! And YABLOKO offers such an alternative...

Eugenia Chirikova supported YABLOKO’s list of candidates in Khimki

Press Release, September 26, 2011

Eugenia Chirikova, leader of the movement in protection of Khimki Forest, supported YABLOKO’s list of candidates to the Council of Deputes of Khimki. According to YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin, there were negotiations with Eugenia Chirikova on her joining YABLOKO’s list, however she refused to participate in the coming elections in principle...

Sergei Mitrokhin: “The tandem chooses stagnation”

Press Release, September 24, 2011

...“President’s statements that on Prime Minister’s post he will engage in modernisation are hard to believe. As modernisation means renewal of governing rather than rotation in the tandem,” Mitrokhin added.

According to Mitrokhin, “this joint proposal by Putin, Medvedev and the United Russia party is “a way towards a new stagnation rather than modernisation, and this stagnation may lead the country to the same deplorable outcome like the stagnation of Leonid Brezhnev’s era ended for the USSR.”

Grigory Yavlinsky on the initiative of Putin-Medvedev’s tandem

Press Release, September 24, 2011

“They want to leave everything as it is for another 12 years. This means for ever. It is for people to decide whether they agree with this or not. Anyway, we have elections, whatever they are now, ahead,” such a comment on the decision of the ruling United Russia’s congress to nominate Vladimir Putin for presidency and Dmitry Medvedev for Prime Minister’s post was made by Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO’s founder, in Twitter.

Silent Solidarity.All the political parties, but Yabloko, criticize United Russia, but not Vladimir Putin
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 23, 2011

...Yabloko’s programme will focus on three issues. "Fight against corruption, introduction of an article into the Criminal Code envisaging punishment for unlawful enrichment, and firing of all state functionaries unable or unwilling to explain their personal fortunes,” Yabloko’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin said. “Also [we are] for return to elections at all levels, public control over secret services, and transition to professional military service."

According to Mitrokhin, at present Yabloko is about to publish a large number of copies of its electoral programme, that will be delivered to the voters by party activists. And before that Yabloko had organised a number of actions and pickets, and Kirill Gontcharov, leader of Youth Yabloko, had even served several days of imprisonment in the Gelendzhik prison for the action by the centre of the Russian Orthodox Church [in Gelendzhik], also called “Patriarch’s country cottage”.

Mitrokhin said that all the political parties were Yabloko's political rivals adding that Yabloko would criticize United Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin. Yabloko’s leader was the first and the only politician who dared to criticize Vladimir Putin: “We have absolutely definite claims on Prime Minister’s performance: namely, creation of a resource-based economy, huge corruption and virtual liquidation of political competition”...

YABLOKO begins its campaign for collecting signatures by the State Duma and the Kremlin

Press Release, September 21, 2011

YABLOKO began its campaign for collecting signatures by the State Duma and the Kremlin. Sergei Mitrokhin also participated in the action in Moscow. The activists managed to collect 150 signatures from people from over ten Russian regions within an hour. This was not an easy task as most of the people there were guests from other countries and Russian citizens were reluctant to give their passport data required by law.

The police did not interfere this time, as after the threats from the policemen to stop “an unsanctioned picket” YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin had sent a telegramme to head of the Central Electoral Commission Vladimir Churov informing the latter of such grave violation of the law by the police. Churov had to explain to police that collecting of signatures for parties registration in the parliamentary campaign does not require any permissions from the authorities.

YABLOKO has to collect 157,000 signatures (whereas the number of signatures per each region should not exceed 5,000) to get registered in the State Duma election campaign. However, YABLOKO is going to collect 200,000 signatures in 50 regions so that make sure the party is registered even if the Central Electoral Commission finds some signatures faulty...

Grigory Yavlinsky: federal budget priorities should be changed

Press Release, September 21, 2011

According to YABLOKO, draft federal budgets for 2012 and 2013-2014 published by the Russian Finance Ministry require principled changes. The draft budgets will be submitted to the parliament after they are examined by the Russian Government.

“It is obvious that it is an electoral budget aiming at maintaining high level of expenditures on the items most significant for 2012 so that to ensure a certain electoral result,” said Grigory Yavlinsky, member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee. After 2012 it is planned to abruptly and absolutely unreasonably change the federal budget priorities.

Thus, expenditure on education will be maintained at 4.6 per cent for 2012, but it will be reduced to 3.9 per cent in 2013 and 3.3 per cent in 2014. The same dynamics of federal budget expenditure is envisaged for healthcare: 4.2 per cent for 2012, 3.5 per cent for 2013 and 3.0 per cent for 2014.

The YABLOKO party considers such abrupt cuts on education and healthcare inadmissible...

Leaders of the Moscow branches of five political parties signed Memorandum on the Work of Cross-Party Observers at the coming parliamentary elections

Press Release, September 20, 2011

On September 20, leaders of the Moscow branches of YABLOKO, CPRF, LDPR, Just Russia and the Patriots of Russia signed Memorandum on Coordination of Actions in Organisation of Cross-Party Work of Observers at the State Duma elections in 2011. Signing of the document and a press-conference took place in the House of Journalists in Moscow...

Leaders of the Moscow branches of four political parties to sign Memorandum on the Work of Cross-Party Observers at the coming parliamentary elections

Press Release, September 19, 2011

Tomorrow, on September 20, leaders of the Moscow branches of YABLOKO, CPRF, LDPR and Just Russia will sign Memorandum on Coordination of Actions in Organisation of Cross-Party Work of Observers at the State Duma elections in 2011. Representatives from the Patriots of Russia and the Just Cause parties are also invited to sign the memorandum.

Heads of regional branches of political parties indicate that it is necessary to join efforts so that to ensure transparent and legitimate counting of votes free from violations and fraud.

The parties state their determination to spare no efforts so that to ensure presence of their observers at absolutely all Moscow polling station. In accordance with election law, the parties are going for the first time collect evidence (including photo and video evidence) of all violations of the law...

Central Electoral Commission attested YABLOKO’s list of candidates for parliamentary elections

Interfax, September 11, 2011

The Central Electoral Commission of the Russian Federation attested YABLOKO’s list of candidates for elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation...

YABLOKO’s federal list is topped by Dr.Grigory Yavlinsky, party founder and member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee, Sergei Mitorkhin, party Chairman and Alexei Yablokov, head of YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction.

“We are setting a tough goal – creation of a faction in the State Duma. This implies overcoming a seven per cent barrier, but we should do this with a higher margin. A benchmark for us is ten per cent,” Mitrokhin told journalists on Monday.

Yabloko: Abstention from elections not an option
LI News Bulletin, Issue 250, September 15, 2011

During its 16th Party Congress in Moscow, LI full member Yabloko, prominent party figures expressed their concerns regarding public calls for abstention in the parliamentary elections scheduled for December 4th. Saying that the voters need to express their opinions through voting, party founder Dr. Grigory Yavlinsky said '…today Yabloko is the only registered independent political party that will always stand in defense of liberty, equality before law and the inviolability of private property ... We are convinced that these values are consciously shared by the majority of our fellow citizens and it would be a betrayal on our part if we deprive them of chance to make their choice,” he said, adding: “Systematic discrediting of elections is as dangerous as election fraud. Because if you do not vote, then why should you fight fraud?' Yavlinsky's views were confirmed by party leader Sergei Mitrokhin, who added that “Yabloko is a responsible political force,that is why it will participate in the coming elections to the Russian parliament”.

Yavlinsky to Run for Duma With Yabloko

The Moscow Times, September 12, 2011

Yabloko party co-founder Grigory Yavlinsky will come out of political retirement to head the party's list in the State Duma elections, the party announced Sunday at a Moscow congress. Yavlinsky, 59, handed over the reins of Yabloko, which he co-founded in 1993, to Sergei Mitrokhin in 2008 but kept a seat on the party's political committee. Now the duo will occupy the top two spots on the party's federal list in the December vote, Interfax reported.
The third spot will go to Alexei Yablokov, a noted environmentalist and corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Also running on the party ticket will be Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov; Anatoly Leirikh, a senior member of Delovaya Rossia, a business lobby group; and Andrei Rudomakha of Environment Watch North Caucasus, a nonprofit group known for reporting about a Black Sea mansion of unclear ownership dubbed "Putin's Palace"...

the original publication by The Moscow Times

Grigory Yavlinsky's manifesto: Elections versus a Revolution

Press Release, Video, September 11, 2011

Grigory Yavlinsky: “Do not wean people away from elections”

Systematic discrediting of elections is as dangerous as election fraud

Dr.Grigory Yavlinsky, one of the founders of the YABLOKO party topping the party list at parliamentary elections, made a programme statement at the 16th Congress of YABLOKO. The first round of the Congress finished on Sunday in the Moscow Region.

Addressing in his final speech "colleagues, associates and opponents" of YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky noted that the coming elections to the Russian parliament (December 4) are "widely considered being a sham and people are called for various forms of boycotting". "We understand this position, and we respect it, as well as many other political positions, but we do not share it,” he stressed...

YABLOKO's Congress. Sergei Mitrokhin about priorities for the YABLOKO faction in the State Duma

Press Release, September 10, 2011

The 16th Congress of the YABLOKO party began its work in the Moscow region.

YABLOKO’s congress started with a minute of silence in view of air accident taking the lives of the players of the Locomotive team.

YABLOKO’s Chairman Sergei Mitrokhin opened the congress. In his report Mitrokhin gave assessment to the present Russia’s political and economic system and marked the priorities of the work of the faction in the State Duma. According to Mitrokhin, Russia had become a hostage of inefficient state and inefficient economic system.

“YABLOKO is a responsible political force, that is why it will participate in the coming elections to the Russian parliament,” he said.

According to Mitrokhin YABLOKO’s goal at the coming elections is formation of its faction in the State Duma.

“Only YABLOKO due to the specifics of its ideology and programme can challenge the monopoly of corrupted bureaucracy merged with business,” Mitrokhin stressed. He also noted that this monopoly is supported not only by the ruling United Russia, but also by other factions of the parliament proclaiming themselves as the “opposition”...

President Medvedev promised to study YABLOKO’s programme “Land-Housing-Roads”

Press Release, August 30, 2011

...“From the economic point of view, the programme is targeted at creation of conditions for unprecedented growth of domestic demand,” Mitrokhin said. This envisages gratuitous and mass-scale transfer of [federal] lands to the citizens under their housing construction and development of infrastructure (water, gas and electricity supply), as well as construction of roads at the expense of the federal budget, i.e. the reserves accumulated for the recent years due to high oil and gas prices.

“The effect from this programme can not be overestimated from both social and political aspects. A possibility to obtain a plot of land free of charge from the state, e.g. 50 hundred square meters of land and built 150 square meters of housing there for half of its cost, - this will constitute a real breakthrough from Russia’s economic stagnation,” he added. Mitrokhin also noted that, according to the estimates of party experts, implementation of such a programme will create at least 10 mln additional jobs and will ensure economic growth by at least 3.5 percentage points...

Sergei Mitrokhin proposed to the Russian President to modernise the Russian parliament

Press Release, August 29, 2011

...Sergei Mitrokhin began his speech saying that the “forthcoming elections represent an opportunity to implement Russian modernisation plans” voiced by the President earlier. “Political modernisation first of all means provision of equal possibilities for political competition. And this should take place during elections,” Mitrokhin stressed. According to YABLOKO’s leader, “today the State Duma with dominance of one political party is the most powerful anti-modernisation factor”. Mitrokhin also stated that this party represents the interests of bureaucracy and large business connected with the latter. “As it is this party which controls the parliament, it can not protect the society from bureaucrats’ arbitrary rule and corruption. Therefore a corrupted system based on the laws adopted by bureaucracy and for the sake of bureaucracy via the State Duma has been built in the country,” Mitrokhin said...

On the decision of the Velsk city court refusing Platon Lebedev in release on parole

Statement by YABLOKO Chairman, August 2, 2011

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO expresses its sincere and deep regret in view of the fact that Platon Lebedev [ex-head of Menatep imprisoned on the YUKOS case] was not released on parole.

Courts in our country often apply release on parole to killers and rapists who after their release turn into serial pedophiles. However, when absolutely non-dangerous for the citizens and publicly important figures such as Platon Lebedev are concerned, than private or group interests of the authorities prevail under the mask of law. The leadership of the country did not take any special decision on Lebedev’s release on parole in an exceptional order which is not surprising in the context of the political developments around Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky case...

Unfortunately all the loud statements by President Medvedev on modernisation of judicial system have remained unrealized. That is why the Russian citizens do not believe in fair justice, moreover the society alienate from the Russian state.

We have been thinking and still think that Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky must be released, this would become an important and humanistic step and at the same time would serve to improvement of our public climate. We shall spare no effort for this...

Sergei Mitrokhin arrived to Novosibirsk to encourage the regional YABLOKO branch to more active work on the threashold of the State Duma elections
Press Release, July 20, 2011

Leader of the YABLOKO party Sergei Mitrokhin arrived to Novosibirsk on July 20 so that to intensify the work of the regional office on the eve of the State Duma elections. According to Mitrokhin, Oleg Donskikh can head the party branch in Novosibirsk. Donskikh is at present the authorized representative of the party in the region, reports Taiga-Info correspondent on July 20...

The Kremlin is trying to represent St Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko’s nomination for speaker of the Federation Council as a promotion, not punishment. Some tricky formalities, however, will have to be observed. By Boris Vishnevsky. Novaya Gazeta, July 4, 2011

...How will the people of St Petersburg remember Valentina Matvienko’s eight-year tenure as governor? She is undoubtedly clever, resolute, has a way of winning people over and at a pinch can make a good impression even on her opponents. But being an authoritarian politician, she hates being criticized and sees the opposition not as people whose point of view needs to be taken into account, but as an enemy that should be destroyed if it doesn’t surrender. It is no wonder that protests in St Petersburg are broken up, opposition members are made ineligible to run for public office and the results of elections are often rigged...

Press-conference "Persecution of Political Opposition with the Help of the Criminal Code"

Press Release, July 4, 2011

Press-conference "Persecution of Political Opposition with the Help of the Criminal Code" will be held in the Independent Press Centre, Moscow, July 7, at 2:00 p.m.

The following speakers will participate in the press-conference: Andrei Babushkin, Chair of the For the Civil Rights Committee, Zoya Svetlova, member of Public Observation Commission, Anna Karyetnikova, member of Public Observation Commission, and Irina Fedotova, author of the book on lawyer Stanislav Markelov murdered in Moscow in 2009. Presentation of the report “Too loose interpretation of Articles 282, 280 and 205-2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation” will also take place.

Address: Moscow, Prechistinka, 17/9, 1st floor, Independent Press Centre

A rally against the ruling United Russia party held in Yaroslavl

Press Release, June 25, 2011.

A rally against the ruling United Russia party was organised by the local YABLOKO branch in Yaroslavl. YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin also participated in the action...

“We ourselves are to blame that we are robbed of,” he said. “We resemble the people who have burglars in their house but do not want to catch them under the pretext that they are tired,” Mitrokhin added. He also said that if such a trend went on, the country would simply cease to exist and called everyone not to miss but vote in the coming elections...

YABLOKO’s leader disappointed that the barrier to the Russian parliament may be reduced only from 2016.

Press Release, June 24, 2011

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed his disappointment with the presidential initiative to reduce the barrier for parties to the Russian parliament from 2016. “It is unclear why, if the President recognizes the present seven per cent barrier as obviously too high, why it is impossible to introduce amendments into the law already now so that to reduce the barrier for the forthcoming elections to the State Duma in December 2011,” Sergei Mitrokhin told Interfax on Thursday...

“We are pessimistic about all these public statements by the head of the state, realizing that he either does not want or can not implement his often correct words into real actions,” he stressed...

YABLOKO continues discussion of the party programme

Press Release, June 23, 2011.

On June 22 a meeting of the working group created by the Bureau of the party on behalf of the 15th Congress of YABLOKO was held. The group has to summarize proposals, comments and amendments to YABLOKO’s programme.
Opening the meeting, Boris Misnik, head of the working group, the coordinator of the Political Committee of the party, spoke about the progress in further development of the party programme and proposals made by party members. "A large number of party members and supporters were involved into such work. In total the web-site of the party received over thirty-five written proposals and critical remarks, many of them will be reflected in a draft election platform of the party," he said...

Sergei Mitrokhin: decision by the Justice Ministry to deny registration to the People's Freedom Party means derogation of the rights of supporters of this party

Interfax, June 22, 2011.

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed his indignation with the decision of the Justice Ministry to deny registration to People’s Freedom Party (PNS).

“I am expressing indignation with the actions of the registrator. We do not share many of the political views of PNS, but we believe that this movement reflects the ideas of a particular part of society and has already proved being a political organisation,” he told Interfax on Wednesday.

According to Mitrokhin, “the denial to register PNS means not only a denial of rights to its members, but also to those who support them”.

“I hope that in case PNS goes to court, an objective decision will be taken and the party will be registered and be able to participate in the parliamentary elections,” Mitrokhin concluded...

The Moscow branch of YABLOKO to discuss draft programme of the party for the parliamentary election campaign

Press Release, May 30, 2011.

The party will continue collection of proposals of YABLOKO electoral programme until June 15. "Both the common sense and the calendar of the election campaign dictate that we have to discuss all the proposals not only in the working group, but also in the Bureau and the Political Committee by the August congress of the party. So after June 15 we have to gather our working group and start writing the document," - Boris Misnik, head of the working group told to Rossyiskaya Gazeta.