"The recent events showed people that actually it's a massive movement and a lot of people want things to be different and it's a great motivation," he said. "I feel like I am a part of a big group and it makes me more confident in what I am doing."
Despite their willingness to be observers, many in the class expressed concern about being detained and how to handle the police. Some were surprised to learn that there are laws that protect their right to keep a vigilant eye on the polls.
"I learned that a lot of legislation and the rules are on my side and that I am confident that everything will go smoothly and that I am backed up with legislation," Zakharov said.
Alena Bykova is preparing for trouble on election day. She has loaded up her Amazon Kindle with legal documents that defend her right to observe the polling station where she has been assigned and says she studies it every day on the Metro ride to and from work. She's watching tutorials on YouTube on how to catch fraud.
"On my little level of public observer on the vote, I can change something and I will try my best to. And there's a new wind and everyone feels it. It's a new wind, probably not in the whole Russia but in Moscow and in big cities, people are getting interested," she said.