Russian tactical voting app Navalny has been removed from iOS and Android following interference with the Russian government. Designed to give supporters of Opposition Leader Aleksei Navalny a chance against Vladimir Putin, the app has now been killed.
Why Navalny was removed from iOS and Android
The idea behind the app is very similar to 2019's Unite Against The Tories campaign. That website allowed users to input their postcode to discover which political party they should back to fell the Conservatives.
The Russian app works the same. While known opposition figures are reportedly being barred from “getting on the ballot”, the app gave Russian citizens a chance. Just like Unite Against The Tories, users would be able to input their address and find the best person to vote for.
Reportedly, the app was removed from iOS and Android after threats from Russian authorities. According to The New York Times, Google removed the app after Russian authorities threatened to punish specific employees living in the country. Apple has not commented on the situation.
In a call with journalists, Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitri Peskov, said:
“That app is illegal. Both platforms have been notified and in accordance with the law they made these decisions, as it seems.”
Putin vs The Opposition
Russian president Vladimir Putin has been in power since 2012. In that time, opponents have tried to campaign against the Russian president, but to no avail. This time, Alexei Navalny attempted to run against Putin. However, the opposition leader was recently imprisoned over money laundering charges that are allegedly false.
Navalny isn’t the only one currently facing punishment. Five of the politician’s close allies have left Russia after authorities threatened to imprison them, furthering Putin’s hold on the country. Last year, rumours surfaced that Putin would be stepping down as president over fears of Parkinson’s. That hasn't happened.
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