Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, said on Tuesday that Vladimir Putin is not the legitimate president of Russia and that she will try to persuade world leaders not to negotiate with him.

Putin won 87.3 percent of the vote on Sunday and a new six-year term in an election the West described as neither free nor fair. China, India and others congratulated him on his victory.

The Kremlin said the election results showed that an overwhelming majority of Russians had consolidated around Putin.

In a video message, Navalnaya praised the participation of thousands of people across Russia and abroad in a protest at midday on Sunday against Putin’s rule.

“We have proven to ourselves and others that Putin is not our president,” Navalnaya said in the clip, which was posted on her late husband’s YouTube channel.

“The election results don’t matter. … We will ensure that no one in the world recognizes Putin as the legitimate president. That no one sits down at the negotiating table with him,” she said.

It was not clear where the clip was filmed. Navalnaya, 47, took part in the protest from Berlin on Sunday.

Shortly before his death in an Arctic penal colony on February 16, Navalny had promoted the idea that Russians should come out at midday on March 17 to vote against Putin, falsify their ballots or simply show solidarity with the opposition .

VIEW | Putin wins Russian presidential election:

Putin wins the election, which is condemned as neither free nor fair

Yulia Navalnaya has vowed to continue her husband’s work. She and Navalny’s supporters say Putin was responsible for his death, a claim the Kremlin rejects.

Putin said on Sunday that several days before Navalny’s death, he had agreed to exchange him as part of a prisoner swap on the condition that he never return to Russia.

Asked about the midday protests, Putin said he could only praise what he said was a call from the opposition for people to go to the polls.

“Lunch against Putin”

There was no independent count of how many of Russia’s 114 million voters took part in the “Noon Against Putin” protests.

Reuters journalists in Russia observed a surge in the flow of voters, particularly younger people, at some polling stations in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg at midday, with queues of several hundred or even thousands of people.

Some said they would protest, while others said they would simply vote.

Navalnaya said her hopes for the “beautiful Russia of the future” – as her husband put it – had been boosted by the sight of “brave, free, honest people” in line at polling stations.

“No intimidation or threats worked. You are stronger than them,” she said.

However, the election confirmed Putin’s dominance in Russian politics. Russia’s opposition is riven by differences over strategy and ideology, while Putin’s main surviving opponents are either in prison or in exile abroad.

Navalnaya urged her followers not to despair and urged people to spend 15 minutes a day “fighting the regime.”

“We need a peaceful, free and happy Russia. And we will definitely be able to achieve this if we act together. Do not give up.”

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