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Presidential elections, 2012
Press Releases and Publications

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!"

Grigory Yavlinsky’s statement prepared for the rally in Novy Arbat* on March 10
March 9, 2012.

If I have a chance to speak at the rally on March 10, I would demanded the following from the authorities:
- release of political prisoners;
- show mercy and pardon those who committed minor offenses;
- stop unlawful prosecution of businessman Alexei Kozlov;
- investigate all the cases of fraud at [parliamentary] elections of December 4 and [presidential] elections of March 4, punish the guilty, completely reform the Central Electoral Commission and dismiss Vladimir Churov, head of the commission;
- immediately consider together with the newly emerging public committees for political reform proposals for the radical change of the electoral system and to adopt such proposals.

We continue fighting for what I and Sergei Mitrokhin spoke about at the rallies on December 10, December 17, December 24, demonstration of February 4 and on March 5:
- complete replacement of the present closed authoritarian, oligarchic, inhuman political system and legal removal of the ruling group headed by Vladimir Putin from governing;
- creation in Russia of a system in which law would be the same for everybody, property - inviolable and the court - independent;
- creation of committees for political reform across the country, freedom of media from censorship and uniting of the democratic forces;
- development of a political, economic, moral and personal ALTERNATIVE to the present regime which would be able to win in a peaceful and legitimate political struggle.

Galina Mikhalyova: in ten years a woman may become President of Russia.

Voice of America, 11 March 2012
...Viktor Vasilyev: President Medvedev complained during his meeting with women (on the eve of the Women’s Day) that in Russia there were very few women in politics. How can we explain such a situation?

Galina Mikhalyova: The system functions in such a way. As a rule there are no women in power in authoritarian regimes, and in democracies there are many of them on the top. There are special mechanisms encouraging such a promotion of women. [President] Medvedev was not going to change anything here. And speaking about Mr Putin, he does not even have it in his thoughts. He's such a super-macho... When he was in power, women’s problems were not mentioned at all.

Viktor Vasilyev: So, you don’t expect any positive changes in the nearest future, do you?
Galina Mikhalyova: No, there are no positive changes, while negative changes are obvious. There are few women in the State Duma. There is no public institution that would deal with our problems, for example, a Presidential Council or a council under the Government or a Commissioner for Women's Rights, as in other countries. Salaries [of Russian women] consitute two-thirds [from those of men]. In several regions people who have small children have to go on hunger strike so that to get a place for their child in a kindergarten. Pregnant women are not paid their benefits or get fired. But the state argues that it has nothing to do with this disgrace...

LI President and Yabloko leadership on Russian elections
LI News Bulletin, Issue 273, March 7, 2012

LI President Hans van Baalen MEP questioned the democratic character of the Russian Presidential elections which took place on 5 March 2012. Van Baalen characterised them as "neither free nor fair like the parliamentary elections held earlier. Putin rules over a facade democracy. The institutions are in place but the democratic spirit is absent. LI, ELDR and ALDE will support the courageous democratic opposition in Russia which is so much needed today." Leader Grigory Yavlinsky of Yabloko (LI Full Member) called for a "real political, economic and most importantly, moral alternative." "We will create this alternative. We will make them conduct new elections and we will win those elections," Yavlinsky said. Yabloko Chairman Sergei Mitrokhin said that Putin won an unfair game. "This wasn't honest, but cowardice and meanness. It was not only carousels and stuffing of ballots which brought him victory. Putin won ousting the only candidate — Yavlinsky — who had no fear of criticizing him," Mitrokhin commented. The OSCE election-monitoring report concluded that there had been "no real competition".


ALDEPAC adopts Pan-African Liberal Manifesto
LI President and Yabloko leadership on Russian elections
DP Minoves meets Ramon Tremosa MEP in run-up to LI EC in Barcelona
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty opens office in Abidjan
LI VP Soler meets liberals in Ecuador
LI written statement to the UN HR Council now online
Kaohsiung Mayor takes over as acting chair of DPP

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...

Russia's presidential election marked by unequal campaign conditions, active citizens' engagement, international observers say
OSCE Press Release, March 5, 2012

MOSCOW, 5 March 2012 – Although candidates in yesterday’s presidential election in the Russian Federation were able to campaign unhindered, conditions were clearly skewed in favour of one of the contestants, current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the international observers concluded in a statement issued today.

The observers noted that all candidates had access to the media, but the Prime Minister was given a clear advantage over his competitors in terms of media presence. In addition, state resources were mobilized at the regional level in his support. Also, overly restrictive candidate registration requirements limited genuine competition...

"This election showed a clear winner with an absolute majority, avoiding a second round. However, voter's choice was limited, electoral competition lacked fairness and an impartial referee was missing. Due to increased citizen's awareness and involvement elections were more lively, better managed and more seriously observed, whereas structural improvements in electoral regulation were proposed to Parliament – but not yet passed," said Tiny Kox, the Head of the delegation of Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly.

"There were serious problems from the very start of this election. The point of elections is that the outcome should be uncertain. This was not the case in Russia. There was no real competition and abuse of government resources ensured that the ultimate winner of the election was never in doubt," said Tonino Picula, the Special Co-ordinator to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission and Head of the delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly...

Russian presidential election: Liberals condemn stacked election
ELDR Press Release, March 5, 2012.

Preliminary results have shown that Vladimir Putin will complete his long-expected return as Russia's president after polling around 63% in yesterday's election, thus avoiding the need for a second round. Commenting on the outcome of the election, ELDR President Sir Graham Watson MEP stated, "there are wide-spread and seemingly justified reservations about the extent to which this was a free and fair contest, not only in the way the procedures were conducted on the day itself, but in the handling of the process from the very beginning, including the refusal to register some candidatures."

Despite much publicised initiatives to make these elections fair and transparent, such as the installation of closed circuit television cameras at polling stations, the electoral process as a whole has been widely condemned as favoring the Putin campaign from the outset.

Evidence of this stretches back to the refusal by the Russian Central Electoral Commission to register opposition candidates, including former YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky on the grounds of perceived irregularities when in fact political engineering of the elections was the more likely reason.

On what the future may hold, Sir Graham added that Putin should not expect the Russian people to blindly accept his rule. "Vladimir Putin might have got his way in so far as the outcome of the election is concerned, but the demonstrations that have taken place since December's parliamentary elections and the increasing criticism that he is facing from significant sections of the population and media show that he will not be in for an easy ride over the next six years. The extent of ill-feeling towards President Putin may even cast doubt on his ability to serve the full-term unless he fundamentally addresses issues related to the rule of law and the democratic, economic and social development of Russian society".

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...

Grigory Yavlinsky’s appeal to protesters
Novaya Gazeta, March 5, 2012.

...I am appealing to all the opposition political leaders who are organising protest actions and inviting people to join them: if violence takes place during these days, it will lead to dramatic weakening of the opposition and will cause a long-lasting setback. It is our responsibility and our task to avert violence and prevent provocations. In complex and unpredictable circumstances, in dealing with the authorities who most often do not want any compromises on the substance of the matter and who at the same time possess great experience and traditions of political reprisals, it is possible to preserve people's trust only by avoiding and preventing violence in every way and at the same time advancing steadily toward the goal - peaceful radical transformation of the authoritarian, inoperative and inhuman political system...

On the contrary, we should prove to all our potential supporters that we can be trusted and that we clearly understand the aims and goals of the democratic protest movement not as our own self-expression but as the defence of the interests of citizens who vitally need large-scale, serious and responsible changes in Russia. Only in this case will the number of our supporters throughout the country become ever greater. Only by following this path will we become responsible spokesmen for the opinion of a significant section of Russian society...

Russland vor der Whal
Interview mit Galina Michaleva, 2 Maerz, 2012.

In Russland wird ein neuer Präsident gewählt. Rund 100 Millionen Russen sind aufgerufen über ihr neues Staatsoberhaupt abzustimmen. Aussichtsreichster Kandidat ist ein alter Bekannter im Amt des Staatspräsidenten - Wladimir Putin. Nicht nur deshalb gab es im Vorfeld der Wahl soviel Trubel wie seit langem nicht mehr. Vor einem Monat zum Beispiel demonstrierten gleichzeitig mehr als 200.000 Gegner und Anhänger Putins in Moskau. Über die Wahlen und den Kandidaten Putin sprach Nordwestradio-Moderator Tom Grote mit Galina Michaleva, Politikwissenschaftlerin und Gastwissenschaftlerin der Forschungssstelle Osteuropa an der Uni Bremen und Exekutivsekretärin des Politischen Komitees und Vorsitzende der Genderfraktion der liberalen Partei "Jabloko".

Head of Central Electoral Commission decided to "ban" YABLOKO's observers
Press Release, March 2, 2012.

YABLOKO has obtained information that the Central Electoral Commission has been preparing a letter to the subordinate commissions demanding not to let journalists and observers from YABLOKO's paper YABLOKO ROSSII come to the polling stations...

"Such a decision by the Central Electoral Commission would mean that the authorities decided to go for a grand-scale fraud," Mitrokhin said.

According to Mitrokhin, at December parliamentary elections YABLOKO's observers detected most of the violations and fraud. If dozens of thousands of YABLOKO's observes are not allowed to monitor the elections, they will go into the streets on the next day, March 5.

Elections in Russia: this is only the start
By Alexander Shishlov, March 2, 2012.

March 4 marks the date when the people will vote in Russia: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plans to assume the Russian Presidency for the third time. Unlike the first two times, however, his support is melting on this occasion. A demand for change is building in the country. More and more people are no longer prepared to put up with the lies, corruption, abuses and falsification in the elections.

It is impossible to call what we are witnessing at present free and fair elections. There are no independent courts, while the authorities control all national TV channels. At the same time we can see the administrative pressure on the mass media and the abuses of electoral commissions – the official voting results have little in common with the actual expression of will of the electorate.

Political competition on 4 March has been reduced to simulation – each of the registered “opposition” candidates to the President embodies a specific segment of the political system created by Putin. The only candidate, who represented a democratic alternative to the system – Grigory Yavlinsky, who was nominated by Yabloko – was not allowed to run in the elections on the pretext of casuistic chicanery over the quality of the signatures gathered in his support...

YABLOKO’s observers will work in the Russian embassies and consulates in 36 countries
Press Release, March 1, 2012.

...To date 170 Russian citizens who are currently abroad decided to become observers from the YABLOKO ROSSII paper helping the YABLOKO party to monitor voting in the Russian embassies and consulates on March 4...

In addition, the YABLOKO’s activists will control voting in Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Thailand, Australia, Austria, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Great Britain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Israel, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Canada, Kenya, China, Luxembourg , Morocco, Norway, Poland, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Finland, Montenegro, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia, South Africa and Japan...

Application “I Am an Observer” is available for downloading on iPhones
Press Release, February 29, 2012.

Application “I Am an Observer” is available for downloading on iPhones and iPods.

Application “I Am an Observer” is available for downloading on iPhones and iPods from today. The application was developed by the YABLOKO party jointly with the Appsolute company specially for observers and electoral commissions members.

The application contains a simple and clear interface. It contains instructions for observers, references to laws, forms for filing complaints, contact information where to get help, etc.

An authorised observer will receive support from YABLOKO’s "hot line", the Voters’ League and the Rosvybory project...

Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO leader, made a speech in the State Duma
Press Release, February 28, 2012.

Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO leader, believes that lowering of a threashold on the number of party members required for party registration and a ban on electoral blocs will only lead to fragmentation of the political field and mutual alienation of the society and the parliament. He made such a statement in the State Duma today, when Duma was examining the package of President’s draft laws targeted at a political reform. Mitrokhin stressed that the draft laws on political parties and elections of deputies of the State Duma can not be examined separately from each other.

According to Mitrokhin, a ban of electoral blocs will give a “powerful impulse to alienation for the society from the government”, and this on the threashold of a coming political crisis can lead to something more than recent mass-scale rallies. “A huge number of votes will be distributes between small parties and they will not be able to make it into the Duma, thus a significant part of the Russian society will not be represented in the State Duma and will not regard as a body reflecting their interests,” he said...

How I Got Kicked Out of Russia.
The New York Times, February 28, 2012.

...He is standing; I'm seated. With every statement, he lifts off his heels; the man looks down on me with all his arrogance. "Judging by your visa, the stated purpose of your visit in Russia does not match your real activities." "What real activities?" I dare to ask in return.

He fires back, "You are meeting with members of the opposition."

Flummoxed, I'm left speechless for a moment. But I realize he isn’t kidding. Never in 10 years of reporting in post-Soviet Russia — including during the eight years I spent living here and covering the war in Chechnya — have the authorities faulted me for something with such grave consequences. The official says that I’ll have to pay a fine, to be determined by the colonel. My visa will be canceled immediately, and I’ll be given a transit document requiring that I leave the country within three days. Not once is the word "journalist" uttered...

The original publication in the New York Times

YABLOKO distributed about 5,000 leaflets among the participants of the Great White Ring action with information on observation of the presidential elections
Press Release, February 26, 2012.

The YABLOKO party supported the Great White Ring action with an automobile race in the inner part of the Garden Ring in Moscow.

Several dozens of vehicles participated in the race. The cars were decorated with stickers "For Fair Elections", white ribbons (a symbol of fight for democracy and free and fair elections) and flags with party symbols.

Party members made several stops during the race so that to distribute leaflets calling the democratic voters to become observers at the forthcoming presidential elections. Trainings for observers are held daily in the YABLOKO headquarters. About 5,000 leaflets were distributed in two hours...

YABLOKO to conduct an auto race to support the Great White Circle action for fair elections
Press Release, February 24, 2012.

The YABLOKO party will support the Great White Circle action with an automobile race in the inner part of the Garden Ring in Moscow. The rally will be held on Sunday, February 26. A column of cars decorated with white ribbons (a symbol of fight for democracy and free and fair elections) and flags with party symbols will start from the party office at Pyatnitskaya Street...

The participants of the race will make stops so that to join the chain of people standing shoulder to shoulder in the Garden Ring protesting against election fraud and curbing of human rights in Russia.

YABLOKO’s activists will also distribute flyers among the participants in the Great White Circle. The flyers call all the democratic voters to become observers at the forthcoming presidential elections. YABLOKO launched trainings for observers on February 20, the trainings will be conducted until March 2...

Stop persecution of Novaya Gazeta!
Statement by the YABLOKO party,
February 22, 2012.

Pressure on the National Reserve Bank financing Novaya Gazeta can not be regarded as accidental.

It is a deliberate political persecution on the threashold of the presidential election of one of the best Russian printed media which has always demonstrated its honest, objective and independent position.

The authorities are mortally scared of the society and of the truth. Therefore, they have launched persecutions against journalism.

We demand to immediately cease persecution of Novaya Gazeta and ensure normal publication of the paper...

Lies and Legitimacy. A programme article by Grigory Yavlinsky

Novaya Gazeta, February 17, 2012.

We are publishing an article by Grigory Yavlinsky which he wrote not in the haste of the election campaign he was not allowed to participate, but almost a year ago.* We consider it a programme article that is why we are publishing it under the rubrics where we publish articles of presidential candidates...

Iabloko, le parti russe écarté : "Ce n'est pas sûr que Poutine gagne"
Le nouvel Observateur, 16-02-2012.

...Ivan Bolchakov, membre du conseil fédéral et président de la commission jeunesse au sein de Iabloko, étoile montante du Parti, revient sur les leçons à tirer des manifestations et de cette invalidation à l'approche de l'élection présidentielle du 4 mars.

Rue89 : Début février, des manifestations ont réuni entre 100 000 et 120 000 personnes à Moscou. Qui sont les manifestants ? Quelles sont leurs exigences ?

Ivan Bolchakov : Jusqu'à récemment, ne participaient à la plupart des manifestations que des activistes politiques. Parfois, des groupes de citoyens insatisfaits de la violation de leurs droits – non-paiement des retraites, destruction de parcs [comme la défense de la forêt de Khimki, dans la banlieue de Moscou, face à un projet autoroutier, ndlr], construction illégale de nouveaux quartiers – les rejoignaient...

On the creation of a pro-Putin pseudo-green party
Statement by the Green Russia faction of the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO,
February 16, 2012.

On February 12, 2012, Russia's environmental movement The Green decided to once again form an environmental party. Its first public action was the decision to support Vladimir Putin's candidacy at the presidential elections in Russia. Also prior to its self-liquidation this party had already declared its support to Vladimir Putin. This party had also supported the decision to import foreign radioactive waste into Russia. Obviously, the revival of the party is aiming at supporting the government in their fight against ecologists, rather than change of antiecological policies in Russia. The newly released government’s report "On the Situation with Environmental Protection in the Russian Federation in 2010" confirms that the quality of environment in Russia has been deteriorating, and respectful international ratings give Russia one of the lowest ratings in the world as of the trends of its environmental changes...

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 begins trainings for election observers
Press Release, February 15, 2012.

The YABLOKO party begins training of observers for presidential and municipal elections in its Moscow office. The first seminar held on Monday evening was held for future trainers of observers. The event was attended by 25 people. They will train observers in Moscow and other regions. From February 20 through to March 2 there will be daily trainings. The trainings start at 19:00 on weekdays and at 15:00 and 18:00 on weekends...

Not only YABLOKO observers but also observers (who will get accreditation from the YABLOKO Rossii newspaper) from other candidates and public projects will be able to participate in the training. YABLOKO co-operates with all public projects for elections monitoring, in particular, YABLOKO will provide them party offices in Moscow and the regions.

Thus, Rosvybory project has begun distribution of its documentation to its observers in YABLOKO’s Moscow office. Observers from Rosvybory receive documents from the headquarters of presidential candidates. (Note for the Rosvybory observers: you should come for the documents only after receipt of a notification that your documents are ready.)

YABLOKO also collaborates with the Voters’ League (Liga Izbiratelei). Reception desks of the Voters League will be opened in YABLOKO’s offices nationwide soon. Volunteers will be able to get their accreditation from the media there after a short training. Collection of observers’ reports within the framework of a joint nationwide project "Final Summarised Protocol" will be also conducted in the same YABLOKO offices.

Despite the fact that candidate from the YABLOKO party at presidential elections Grigory Yavlinsky was not registered as a presidential candidate, the party intends to seriously engage in organisation of elections control. Professionals who trained the party observers who were acknowledged to be most qualified work in YABLOKO, they also helped prepare applications to courts in hundreds of cases of election fraud...

Vladimir Putin shown that there are political prisoners in Russia
Press Release, Photographs, February 13, 2012.

Activists of the Sverdlovsk region branch of the YABLOKO party conducted an action "Putin, look, here are political prisoners…" on Friday, February 10. The activists held a many meters banner in front of the Representation of the President in Ekaterinburg. The banner contained names of political prisoners from the list handed to the current President Dmitry Medvedev.

The action represents a reaction of Vladimir Putin’s statement during his meeting with political scientists when he asked them to show him "at least one political prisoner".

According to YABLOKO activists, the people from the list were convicted with the help of falsified evidence, the actual reason for putting them into prison were their political activities.

Maxim Petlin, leader of the Sverdlovsk branch of YABLOKO, kept in the pre-trial detention prison now is also in the list of such political prisoners.

"Politically we will really unite this year" says Yavlinsky
LI News Bulletin, Issue 269, February 9, 2012

Speaking at a massive opposition rally in Moscow on behalf of Yabloko (LI full-member) Grigory Yavlinsky (LI Prize for Freedom laureate) said "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." His statement comes days after the National Electoral Commission refused Yavlinsky's registration in the upcoming Presidential elections declaring 20% of the collected signatures as allegedly "invalid." Yavlinsky reassured his supporters that the party is going to stay strong and it will continue to fight for a political reform in the country so that moral and ethics are the main force and so that there is no censorship in the mass media. He also stressed that "life does no end on March 4 [the voting day of presidential elections] or March 5. This is only the beginning." The nomination of Yavlinsky had been officially endorsed by Gorbachev while over 2,000 000 Russian citizens gave their signatures in support of Yavlinsky's candidature hoping to have a political alternative.

Grigory Yavlinsky on the decision of the Supreme Court
Grigory Yavlinsky’s Live Journal, February 8, 2012.

...The fact that we demonstrated this nonsense to everyone in Russia was also part of our work.
Once again I would like to thank all of you who participated in the collection of signatures, who helped to collect them and who signed up. Your political position can not be "cancelled", and eventually it is the most important achievement of this campaign for collection of voters’ signatures...

Grigory Yavlinsky: the authorities have confirmed once again that they want uncontested elections
Press Release, February 8, 2012.

Grigory Yavlinsky commenting on the decision of the Supreme Court which upheld the refusal to register him as a candidate for President, once again emphasized that he regarded this decision as political and not anyway related to any litigation or the Central Electoral Commission (CEC).

He emphasized that the court did not question the authenticity of the 1,932,112 signatures that had been found valid by the CEC...

Russian liberals and democrats campaign for fair elections
ELDR Press Release, February 8, 2012.

On Saturday, around 120.000 people marched through Moscow and participated in the Rally for fair elections. Supporters of ELDR member YABLOKO held a huge banner “We demand new elections!”

Yabloko founder Grigory Yavlinsky stated: “They wish to oust us all from elections. This won’t go! Together we are defending the future of the country, the Constitution, freedom, life according to the rule of law rather than arbitrary rule. It is important for us and we will never surrender!”

Last week in the European Parliament, ELDR President Sir Graham Watson MEP commented on the decision of the Russian central electoral commission to block Yavlinsky from running as a candidate in the 4 March elections: “It seems to me that this is a politically motivated move.”

Grigory Yavlinsky appealed to the Supreme Court against the decision of the Central Electoral Commission denying him registration in presidential elections

Press Release, February 6, 2012.

On Monday Grigory Yavlinsky, founder of the YABLOKO party, appealed to the Supreme Court against the decision of the Central Electoral Commission denying him registration in presidential elections.

Yavlinsky asked in the appeal to revoke the decision on the denial in registration in the presidential election campaign and oblige the Central Electoral Commission to register him in the campaign.

Grigory Yavlinsky ran in presidential elections twice: in 1996 and 2000. In 1996 he came fourth with 7.34 per cent, and he was third in 2000 with 5.8 per cent. In 2004 and 2008 he did not participate in the presidential elections.

In 2012 he planned to participate in the presidential elections, however, on January 27 the Central Electoral Commission officially denied him the registration...

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 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...

Grigory Yavlinsky on the situation with voters’ signatures in favour of his registration in the presidential election campaign

Grigory Yavlinsky's Live Journal, January 29, 2012
...Let us make a simple calculation: the share of detected defective (void) signatures that were not included into this category (Code 29) amounted to 16,446 (2.74% of the number of verified signatures totaling 600,000). The rest was 137,492 (22.91%): "Other violations of procedural formalities in filing signature sheets, including signatures of voters whose data were included into signature sheets not in handwriting (electronic photographs certified by authorized representatives).” This means that the main fault found in the signatures by the Central Electoral Commission lying behind their refusal in my registration referred NOT TO THE SIGNATURES, BUT TO “OTHER VIOLATIONS OF PROCEDURAL FORMALITIES IN FILING OF SIGNATURE SHEETS, including signatures of those voters whose data were included into signature sheets not in handwriting (electronic photographs certified by authorized representatives)...

Yavlinsky's Presidential Candidature Gets Rejected
LI News Bulletin, Issue 267, January 27, 2012

Days after Yavlinsky's candidature was endorsed by Gorbachev, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) declared 20% of the signatures collected in support of the leader of Yabloko (LI full member) invalid. Commenting on the incident at a news Conference Yavlinsky said: 'I consider the decision of the NEC as politically motivated. They aren't letting me join the race, because they don't want to allow an alternative - political, economic and moral.' He also cautioned that such refusal to allow him to join the race would undermine the vote's legitimacy and could lead to unrest and instability in the country. Grigory Yavlinsky needed to collect and submit at least 2,000,000 votes in order to register since he was nominated by a non-parliamentary party. ALDE-PACE (LI Cooperating Organisation) issued a statement condemning the situation as 'another sign of the limitation of political competition and expression in the country.' The group also expressed concern that the latest developments in Russia severely compromise the possibility for free and fair presidential elections on 4 March 2012.

YABLOKO denied opportunity to field presidential candidate: politically motivated move say EU Liberals
ELDR Press Release, January 26, 2012.

Grigory Yavlinsky, former leader of ELDR member party, YABLOKO, has been officially barred from running in the upcoming Russian presidential election. The Central Electoral Commission announced yesterday that Yavlinsky's candidature is invalid as a result of perceived technical irregularities in the way the signatures of support, a requirement for participation in the election, were presented to the Commission.

Commenting on the refusal to accept Yavlinsky's registration for the 4 March election, ELDR Party President, Sir Graham Watson MEP stated, "this is clearly a politically motivated move designed to ensure Vladimir Putin has an easy ride back into the presidency and shows a blatant disregard of democratic principles and international standards for free and fair elections.

It seems that Putin and his cronies have learnt nothing from the protests that have been taking place since last December's parliamentary elections. This is very worrying and undermines the authority and legitimacy of the future Russian president."

Grigory Yavlinsky said that the position taken by the Electoral Commission denies thousands of people the opportunity to express their views freely. "Their refusal means that all the people who do not agree with what has been happening in Russia, the people who want a different perspective - an open, democratic, European and modern perspective - will not be allowed to participate in the elections by means of this political decision"...

An arranged marriage.
Novaya Gazeta, January 25, 2012.

Voters’ signatures to register Grigory Yavlinsky were rejected, because the authorities don’t need an excessive amount of competition in the first ballot.

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!”...

YABLOKO expects escalation of claims on behalf of Central Electoral Commission after Grigory Yavlinsky was supported by organizational committee of the rally scheduled on February 4
Press Release, January 24, 2012.

YABLOKO does not see anything new in today’s statements by representatives of the Central Electoral Commission that the number of defective signatures give them grounds to refuse Grigory Yavlinsky registration in the presidential election campaign.

Grigory Yavlinsky and other party leaders gave assessments of this decision during press-conference at Interfax yesterday.

However, we expect further escalation of claims on behalf of the Central Electoral Commission after organizational committee of the rally scheduled on February 4 adopted a decision on nominating Grigory Yavlinsky presidential candidate...

Verhofstadt: "Mr Putin, Be aware Spring is coming"
Press Release, ALDE, January 24, 2012

Reacting to news that Grigory Yavlinsky, from the Russian Democratic Party "Yabloko" is unlikely to be allowed to register as a candidate for the Presidency, Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) made the following statement:

"By refusing to register Grigory Yavlinsky for the presidential election the Kremlin removes any glimmer of hope for an alternative vision for Russia. The Presidential elections to be held on 4 March 2012 will be another step backwards for democracy in Russia."

"Russian people have demonstrated their disdain for the current regime and are demanding change. New State Duma elections should be held after registration of all opposition political parties. The European Union should reassess EU policy on Russia with the prospect of Putin clinging to power until 2024."

"The President in waiting would be well advised to heed to people's demands.
Mr. Putin, be aware Spring is coming."

Grigory Yavlinsky: the authorities decided that the stability of the ruling group is more important than the stability of the country
Press Release, Video, January 23, 2012.

Presidential candidate from the YABLOKO party Grigory Yavlinsky said that the intention [of the Central Electoral Commission] to refuse to register him in the presidential elections campaign was "purely political" and "did not have anything to do with signatures and their quality."

"Their refusal means that all the people who do not agree with what has been happening in Russia, the people who want a different perspective - an open, democratic, European and modern perspective – will not be allowed to participate in the elections by means of this political decision," Grigory Yavlinsky said at a press conference at Interfax.

This is done for two reasons, Yavlinsky noted, "Vladimir Putin and the present government fear the choice that will be made by the part of citizens tired of stealing, lies and corruption." In addition, “they are afraid that tens of thousands of observers” whom YABLOKO planned to send to the polling stations...

Why Putin bars Yavlinsky from presidential election
Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at the Ekho Moskvi web-site, January 22, 2012.

In the coming days the verdict of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) will be announced: who of the candidates submitting voters’ signatures to the CEC will be registered as presidential candidate. The quality and authenticity of the signatures have nothing to do with this [check up by CEC] and registration. It will be Vladimir Putin who will make the decision on the issue.

My prediction is like this: [oligarch] Mikhail Prokhorov will be registered, and Grigory Yavlinsky not. Why?
We have learned from The New Times, that the evening on December 9, Vladimir Putin telephoned Mikhail Prokhorov and asked him to run for president.
The 9th of December was just the last day of filing the application for the registration. In the evening the CEC gave the names of all those who applied and were registered. Prokhorov was not among them...

Yavlinsky Could Be Rejected From Russia Presidential Poll

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, January 23, 2012.

Russian opposition Yabloko party founder Grigory Yavlinsky could be denied registration as a presidential candidate by Russia’s Central Election Commission...

"This issue is of a political nature, absolutely, and the purpose of [denying registration] is to bar from elections all those people who are discontent with what is happening in Russia today and who would like a different future for Russia -- an open, democratic, European, modern future," Yavlinsky said.

He added that Yabloko plans to register hundreds or even thousands of observers for the election and that is also a reason the Kremlin might refuse to register him.

"This decision is strictly political and it has nothing to do with the signatures or their quality," he said.

Yavlinsky’s Presidential Candidature Receives the Endorsement of Gorbachev
LI News Bulletin, Issue 266, January 20, 2012

The nomination of Yabloko's (LI full-member) Presidential Candidate, Grigory Yavlinsky, has been officially endorsed by former Soviet president and leader of Perestroyka, Mikhail Gorbachev. It follows the disputed Russian Duma elections in December 2011. According to the Russian law, since Yavlinsky has been nominated by a non-parliamentary party, he needs to collect and submit at least 2 million signatures to the Central Electoral Commission in order to run in the upcoming Presidential elections. The latest party's press release indicates that the leader of Yabloko has managed to collect signatures from all Russian regions, as well as from Russian citizens working and living abroad. This equates to around 2, 132, 000 votes in just 25 days. Yavlinsky commented saying “collecting 2 million signatures is not just a technical procedure. It means that 2 million people have vowed to support the political alternative that we represent.” A day after Yavlinsky was nominated as a candidate for the presidential elections, LI President Hans van Baalen MEP made a telephone call to Mr. Yavlinsky expressing LI's full support.

YABLOKO to submit to the Central Electoral Commission voters' signatures for Grigory Yavlinsky's registration in the presidential election campaign
Press Release, January 17, 2012.

YABLOKO will submit to the Central Electoral Commission voters' signatures for Grigory Yavlinsky's registration in the presidential election campaign on January 18 at 4 p.m. Files with 2,100,000 voters’ signatures will be transported to the Central Electoral Commission on four minivans. In total YABLOKO’s volunteers managed to collect 2,132,000 voters’ signatures in 25 days only (from December 23 to January 16).

Address of the Central Electoral Commission: Bolshoi Cherkasskiy pereulok 9
Accreditation for journalists: tel +7 495 606-13-25.

YABLOKO to create Fund for Donations for provision of elections transparency
Press Release, January 16, 2012.

The YABLOKO party is going to complete creation of a fund for citizens’ donations for organisation of election monitoring and encourages people to become observers on the election day March 4.

"Today we are initiation creation of a special fund, which we are calling the Fund for Promotion of Public Control over Elections", said Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO Chairman, a press conference in the Interfax office on Monday...

YABLOKO collected 2.1 voters signatures for registration of Grigory Yavlinsky in the presidential election campaign
Press Release, January 16, 2012.

2,100,000 people signed up for registration of Grigory Yavlinsky in the presidential election campaign. As expected Grigory Yavlinsky’s electoral head-quarters received large quantity of sheets with signatures these days. Today, on the last day of collection of signatures, the head-quarters will receive about 100,000 signatures.

According to the law, the number of signatures submitted to the Central Electoral Commission should not exceed 2.1 mln. On January 17, the staff of the head-quarters will pass 2.1 mln signatures to the print shop for binding. On January 18 the signatures will be submitted to the Central Electoral Commission...

Mikhail Gorbachev signed up for nomination of Grigory Yavlinsky presidential candidate
Press Release, January 14, 2012.

Ex-President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev signed up for nomination of Grigory Yavlinsky presidential candidate. The sheet with Mikhail Gorbachev's signature was brought by Gorbachev Fund officer to YABLOKO’s head-quarters yesterday...
Collection of signatures for registration in the election campaign began on December 23 and will go through January 15.
As of yesterday, the Grigory Yavlinsky’s electoral head-quarters disposed of 1.7 mln voters’ signatures. YABLOKO activists hope that the remaining 400,000 signatures will be collected in the coming days. YABLOKO attracts volunteers (YABLOKO members and supports, ex-observers at the parliamentary elections and people who left their telephones within the framework of the project "The Glasnost Territory") for collection of signatures. A number of public organisations, including the staff of the Gorbachev Fund, help YABLOKO to collect signatures.

YABLOKO collected over 1.7 mln signatures for registration of Grigory Yavlinsky in the presidential elect ion campaign
Press Release, January 13, 2012.

As of today, YABLOKO collected over 1.7 mln signatures for registration of Grigory Yavlinsky in the presidential elect ion campaign. Collection of signatures will go until January 15, sheets with voters’ signatures have to be filed and prepared for dispatch to the Central Electoral Commission on January 18.

YABLOKO activists think that they will manage to collect the remaining 400,000 signatures (as a non-parliamentary party such as YABLOKO has to submit to the Central Electoral Commission 2.1 mln signatures for registration of its candidate in the face). Grigory Yavlinsky’s headquarters call all the supporters of an alternative at presidential elections to focus on the solution of this task...

Members of the Central Electoral Commission representing the YABLOKO party say that commission head should resign
Press Release, January 12, 2012.

Yelena Dubrovina, member of Central Electoral Commission from the YABLOKO party, voted for introduction of the issue of resignation of Vladimir Churov, head of the Central Electoral Commission, into the agenda of the commission. Most of the commission members (including members from the Just Russia and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s LDPR) voted against this proposal...

Only Yelena Dubrovina from YABLOKO and Eugeni Kolushin from CPRF voted in favour of this proposal. Other 13 commission members, including representative of the Just Russia Sergei Danilyenko and Oleg Lavrov from LDPR voted against this...

Russian citizens collect signatures in nine countries for nomination of Grigory Yavlinsky at March presidential elections
Press Release, January 12, 2012.

Volunteers are collecting signatures for registration of Grigory Yavlinsky as candidate for President of Russia among Russian citizens living or working abroad. Collection of signatures is held in seven European countries, the US and Canada. So far, none of other Russian parties and candidates have attempted to collect signatures of Russian citizens living or working abroad.

Russian citizens working in the UK, France, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, USA and Canada wrote to YABLOKO with a proposal to collect signatures among compatriots abroad...

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...

There Will Be No Second Round in Presidential Elections. Visitors of the Novaya Gazeta web-site chose their President

Novaya Gazeta, January 10, 2012.

On January 3, we asked our web-site visitors: "If the presidential election were held today, whom would you vote for?" And offered to vote for one of the presidential candidates: Vladimir Zhirinovsky's LDPR Chairman, Gennady Zyuganov, the Communist party (CPRF) leader, Dmitry Mezentsev, Governor of the Irkutsk, Sergei Mironov, leader of the Just Russia party, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky. The poll ended today.

The results were quite expected. Dmitry Mezentsev failed to score even one per cent, also visitors of the Novaya Gazeta web-site did not vest any hopes into the leaders of the parliamentary opposition. The number of votes given in favour of Vladimir Putin (whom the web-site visitors probably voted for asking themselves "Who else?") is also small. Businessman Mikhail Prokhorov has a somewhat higher percentage, and more than half of all the votes by the readers of Novaya Gazeta went to Grigory Yavlinsky. So there [seems to be] no second round...

1.1 mln signatures for nomination of Grigory Yavlinsky for presidential elections collected
Press Release, January 9, 2012.

1.1 mln signatures for nomination of Grigory Yavlinsky for presidential elections collected during Christmas holidays in Russia. YABLOKO’s electoral headquarters expect abrupt rise of the number of signatures after the end of holidays.

In Moscow signatures are collected not only in YABLOKO's office but also by six metro stations...

700,000 people put their signatures in favour of nomination of Grigory Yavlinsky to run in the presidential elections campaign
Press Release, January 4, 2012.

700,000 people have already put their signatures in favour of nomination of YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky to run in the presidential elections campaign. Collection of signatures for registration in the election campaign began on December 23 and will go through January 14.

The Russian law requires for a candidate from a non-parliamentary party to collect and submit by January 18 to the Central Electoral Commission at least 2 million of signatures in favour of his nomination to run in the campaign. Moreover, such a campaign for collection of signatures should be conducted by a party nominating its candidate in at least 40 Russian regions, whereas the number of signatures collected in each of the regions should not exceed 50,000...

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.

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...

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...

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...

Veteran liberal Grigory Yavlinsky to run for president in 2012
RIA Novosti, December 1, 2011.

MOSCOW, December 1 (RIA Novosti)-Russia's liberal Yabloko party has nominated its first leader and co-founder, Grigory Yavlinsky, to run for president in March next year.

Yabloko's co-leader Sergei Mitrokhin said Yavlinsky could be the main opposition coalition candidate but added that it was open for discussion.

"We do not wish to impose our candidate, we wish to offer discussion on all candidates at a primary election to which we invite all democratic parties and organizations," Mitrokhin told a news conference on Thursday...

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"...

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"...