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"Winter is coming." Activist from Syktyvkar suggested cutting snowflakes from ballot cards with votes for the opposition to the election commission

Ivan Zhuravkov
Nina Popugaeva
Screenshot from the video

In Syktyvkar, activist Nina Popugaeva held performance rally "Winter is coming" at the building of the Election Commission of the Komi Republic. She wanted to show the members of the election commission an alternative way of destroying "unwanted" ballot cards with votes for representatives of the opposition. The rally attracted the attention of the police. The activist told 7x7 about this.

On the published video from the rally, Popugaeva is sitting on the porch of the Republican Election Commission and is getting ballot cards from the election of deputies of the State Council of Komi and the head of the region out of a bucket with inscription "Polling station commission No. 23". She is putting aside ballot cards with votes for the United Russia and Green Alternative Parties and, having reached a ballot card with a vote for the CPRF, is cutting out a snowflake from it. At this moment, Peremen (‘Changes’) by Kino (Russian rock band) is playing on the background. At the end of the video, a snowflake glued to the sign on the election commission’s building and inscription "Winter is coming" are shown.

Nina Popugaeva explained to 7x7 that her rally’s goal was to suggest the Election Commission of the Komi Republic an alternative way of destroying "unwanted" ballot cards:

— There is no hint of protests in the action. It just seems to me that the election commission, instead of destroying unwanted ballot cards, may use them somehow: for example, to decorate the State Council on the eve of winter and the New Year. By unwanted, I mean ballot cards with votes for parties that are considered oppositional in the Komi Republic, such as the CPRF. Just so you know, the ballot cards [in my performance] are fake - they are just printed photos of those posted on the Internet.

The activist added that she had been watched by a police officer who had come out of the State Council’s building and a man in a bright jacket during the rally. According to her, they approached her, asked what she was doing and copied her nominal data.


Nina Popugaeva is a journalist and activist, a member of the queerrrriot LGBT+ Community in Syktyvkar. She held actions in defense of the LGBT+ community's rights, against the detention of journalist Ivan Golunov on suspicion of drug dealing, and more. In June, she was detained for a video of action “The Last Edits”, where a man in the Putin mask covered the Constitution with white "paint". After voting on amendments to the Constitution of the country, the activist held one-person pickets against its results daily. Because of this, the police drew up three reports on her for violating the procedure for holding a public event.

As a result of the elections, six parties got into the State Council of Komi: the United Russia Party (20.8%), the CPRF (14.8%), the LDPR (14.5%), the Green Alternative Party (10%), the Rodina Party (9.8%), and the Fair Russia Party (8.56%). At the same time, the United Russia Party won in 14 of the 15 single-member districts, and a Communist won in one. Voter turnout during the State Council elections was 30.14%. As a result, the deputies are represented in the republican parliament in the following way: the United Russia Party - 20 seats, the CPRF - 4, the LDPR - 3, one deputy from the Green Alternative Party, one from the Rodina Party, and one from the Fair Russia Party.

Acting head of the republic Vladimir Uyba won the election of the Head of the Komi Republic with a result of 73.2% votes. His closest competitor — deputy of the Usinsk Town Council Andrei Nikitin from the LDPR — gained 10.8%. Earlier, the Election Commission of the Komi Republic did not register candidate from the CPRF Oleg Mikhailov, who had not passed the municipal filter, for the election.

You can learn more about the elections held in Komi from 7x7’s report and documentary.

Original

Ivan Zhuravkov, «7х7»

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