“My name is Kseniia Sobchak…”

SOT, Ksenia Sobchak, TV Russian anchor and journalist (Russian): “My name is Kseniia Sobchak. I am 36 years old. And like any other Russian citizen, I now have the right to run for the presidency. I have decided to use this right because I am against everyone who usually exercises this right. Look, Zhirinovski led his party to Parliament when I was, if I am not mistaken, 12 years old. When I was 15 years old, Yavlinski and Zyuganov lost their presidential elections, with pleasure, I must say. When I was 18, already a university student, Vladimir Putin became Russian President. The children, who were born that year, will vote this year. Just think about it. It might happen that when my son takes part in the voting, there still will be Zyuganov, Zhirinovski, Yavlinsky, Putin and their endless stunt doubles and deputies in the list of candidates. I am against this. For already five years together with other opposition activists, with tens of thousands of other people, we take to the streets to demand change. However, the people we appeal to would not benefit from changes. They are content with the current state of affairs. Thieves and corrupt officials keep lying, those in power keep stealing. Priests and servicemen are telling us what to read, what to watch and even whom to love. Many suggest boycotting these elections. Indeed, one can just skip [the voting]. What is the point of voting, if we are fed up with the existing candidates, while other, real candidates, are not allowed. But if you don’t go, how do we know that you care? How would one know that you are against it? How to make sure that your voice is heard? Five years ago, I realised that if every one of us, together or alone, does not try to change something, our life would be horrible; it would be unbearable in these circumstances. We would be arrested for our beliefs, sprayed with ‘zelyonka’ [green antiseptic], our children would dream of leaving the country. Navalny and other independent politicians would sit behind bars, and nothing would change. How should we show that we do not like what is going on? There used to be a ‘none of the above’ option, which guaranteed that your vote is not given to any of the candidates. However, we were deprived of this option to make it easier to steal our votes. To stay in power as long as possible. I want to bring this option back. I want to bring back the opportunity to vote against all candidates. This is our peaceful and legal way to say, ‘Enough, guys, we are fed up with you.’ We are very strong together. Whatever they promise, whatever they stand for, we are against it – against them, against everyone. Kseniia Sobchak, candidate for ‘none of the above.'”