Russia Cries About Anti-Putin Election Protests in D.C.

The Russian ambassador to the United States says he plans to complain to American officials about security failings at the embassy in Washington, D.C. on Sunday as voters cast their ballots in the Russian presidential election.Anatoly Antanov told reporters that “traitors” were allowed “to block the entrance to the Russian embassy and interfere with Russian

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The Russian ambassador to the United States says he plans to complain to American officials about security failings at the embassy in Washington, D.C. on Sunday as voters cast their ballots in the Russian presidential election.

Anatoly Antanov told reporters that “traitors” were allowed “to block the entrance to the Russian embassy and interfere with Russian citizens” as they tried to vote, according to RIA Novosti. He added that the Russian diplomatic mission would make a complaint about the matter on Monday and, if necessary, “express the most severe protest regarding the issue of ensuring the security of the Russian embassy.”

Protesters opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin gathered at the embassy on Sunday carrying Ukrainian flags and anti-war signs. Similar actions were launched at polling stations in Russian cities and other international locations as part of the “noon against Putin” protest plan backed by the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny before his death last month. Over 2,srcsrcsrc people—including Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, were estimated to have taken part in one demonstration outside the Russian embassy in Berlin.

Speaking after voting closed Sunday, Antonov said he’d “always respected” the U.S. State Department’s work protecting embassies, but he “can’t say that today,” TASS quoted him as saying. He alleged that concerns about security had been unacceptably ignored, and that people wearing Ukraine symbols showed up at the embassy along with others who “tried to insult” diplomats.

“But these are such isolated cases,” Antonov said. “And even to them we constantly said: ‘You are a Russian, you are a citizen of Russia. You have every right to express your constitutional right. Here’s your ballot, so to speak, go vote what you think.’”

Antonov said last week that his embassy had received “a great many provocative calls” and “threats” ahead of the vote, and that he was aware of “plans for anti-Russian acts.”

The Daily Beast has contacted the State Department for comment.

Facing no real opposition, Putin won another six-year term in a landslide with over 87 percent of the vote, according to Russia’s Central Election Commission. “The elections are obviously not free nor fair given how Mr. Putin has imprisoned political opponents and prevented others from running against him,” the White House’s National Security Council spokesperson said of the contest.

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