23 March 2020
Yury Samodurov, human rights activist, former director of the Andrei Sakharov Museum and Civic Centre
Esteemed opponents of the boycott against the upcoming ballot,
The one thing that interests me about your position right now, is what you will say and write the day after taking part in the vote? Please, think about that.
I assume it will be something like the following:
“Dear fellow citizens with opposition convictions,
Yesterday we all took part in a ballot, illegal for many reasons, on unlawful amendments to the Constitution. Why the voting was unlawful and the amendments against which we voted were also illegal, is well known by you and us. Dear oppositional citizens, we lost the vote.
Those who voted for the amendments turned out in considerably greater numbers, and it could not have been otherwise, because the majority of those who went out yesterday and voted in favor the unlawful amendments couldn’t have cared less about the illegality of the voting!
We are expressing our oppositional disdain for those people! We wish to tell you that, regardless of your and our participation in illegal voting, you and we should in no way accept, and will not accept, this new Putinist constitution!
It’s of little importance that we all legitimized this illegal voting by our participation – after all, we told you yesterday and we’re telling you again today, that we had a chance to win! Our logic – the simple, clear and correct logic of the opposition – was: Vote to win, and all the same you’ll lose!
Therefore, we politicians and citizens who voted against the amendments, congratulate all of ourselves, dear citizens, on our victory, which we considered and still consider to have been our principled participation in illegal voting! Down with the unlawful Constitution! We will not accept it! Hooray!”
Translated by Mark Nuckols