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Putin Wins Russian Presidential Election

Putin Wins Russian Presidential Election

Reuters, March 17, 2019 – In Russia’s election on Sunday, President Vladimir Putin won by a considerable margin—the most significant win since the fall of the Soviet Union. He said that the win proved that Moscow was right to stand up to the West and send troops into Ukraine. Putin became president in 1999 and is a former KGB lieutenant colonel. He clarified that the outcome should show the West that its leaders will have to deal with a stronger Russia for many more years, in war or peace.

Highest Vote Score In Russia’s Post-Soviet History

Putin will begin a new six-year term today. He is 71 years old. If he finishes, he will be Russia’s longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin, who was in charge for more than 200 years. FOM did an exit poll and found that Putin got 87.8% of the vote. This is the most votes Russia has ever had since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) says that Putin got 87% of the vote. The first official results show that the polls were correct. There was censorship and jail time for political opponents, so the US, Germany, the UK, and other countries said the vote was not free or fair. A partial release of the results indicated that communist Nikolai Kharitonov placed second with less than 4%, ultra-nationalist Leonid Slutsky placed fourth, and newcomer Vladislav Davankov placed third.

Now that Putin has changed the constitution in 2020, he can run for two more six-year terms after this one ends next year. He might stay in power until 2036 if this is true. In 2029, Putin will have been in charge longer than Joseph Stalin, who was in charge of the USSR for 29 years. That is how long a leader has been in charge of a country since the Russian Empire.

10 Years Since Russia Annexed Crimea

Ten years ago, in February 2014, Russia illegally took over Crimea. This year, Vladimir Putin won the election. In March 2014, Putin signed a law that made Russia’s takeover of Crimea from Ukraine official. This was after holding a referendum that was criticized around the world. “Russia has done everything in its power to delegitimize Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea,” according to Amnesty International. The group also talks about policies that aim “to change the ethnic makeup” of the peninsula.

Until 1954, Crimea was a part of Russia in the Soviet Union. That is when the Soviet government gave it to Soviet Ukraine. Russia said it had taken over four more parts of Ukraine in September 2022: Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk.

Effect Of Victory On Russia-Ukraine War

War has been a cloud over the three-day election. Ukraine has attacked Russian oil refineries, shelled Russian regions, and tried to cross the border with fake troops, which Putin said would not go unpunished. Putin said that Russia might need to make a buffer zone inside Ukraine to stop attacks like this from happening again. There were no real opponents to Putin’s re-election, so it was clear he would win. However, the former KGB spy wanted to show that most Russians supported him.

Officials say that 74.22% of voters nationwide went to the polls when they closed at 1800 GMT, which is higher than the 67.5% turnout in 2018. Although there were tens of thousands of police and other security staff present, no one outside of Russia’s government kept track of how many of the country’s 114 million voters took part in the protests.

At noon, Reuters reporters saw more people, mostly younger, going to the polls in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg. There were lines of several hundred to even thousands of people waiting to vote. Even though they did not look much different from regular voters, some said they were protesting.

Police arrested at least 74 people across Russia on Sunday, according to OVD-Info, a group that keeps an eye on crackdowns on dissent. Over the past two days, there were a few protests in which Russians set fire to polling places or poured green dye into ballot boxes. Adversaries shared pictures of tampered ballots with insulting messages written on them.

Response By Opposition

Russia’s weak opposition tried to put together its show of strength even though Putin was likely to win. People in Moscow and other Russian cities waited long lines at several polling places on Sunday at noon after Navalny’s widow called them.

For a “noon against Putin” show of strength, Yulia Navalnaya told her supporters to show up in large numbers at an event at the Russian embassy in Berlin. Before he died suddenly in an Arctic prison a month ago, her husband agreed with the plan.

Voters greeted Navalnaya with loud cheers and chants, and she thanked them for coming to honor her husband. Alexei Navalny died last month in a prison colony in Siberia that was far away from everything else. He was serving a 19-year sentence for charges that most people thought were politically motivated. Plus, his wife says the people who came out gave her hope.

Response By Other Countries Over Victory

Western countries quickly said terrible things about the elections. Westerners think of Putin as a dictator and a killer. It was Sunday, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that Putin wanted to rule forever and that the vote was not valid. Putin says the war is part of a long-running conflict with a weakening West that, in his view, made Russia look bad after the Cold War by expanding its influence.

Western spy chiefs say that the election in Russia comes at a tough time for the Ukraine war and the West as a whole. There are a lot of issues in the U.S. that affect support for Ukraine before the presidential election in November.

The German foreign ministry said on X that the “fake election in Russia is neither free nor fair, and the outcome will not surprise anyone.” Putin is an authoritarian leader who uses violence, censorship, and repression to run his country. “The ‘election’ in the occupied parts of Ukraine is illegal and against international law.”

Conclusion

There were thousands of protests in Russia and around the world against Vladimir Putin’s growing dictatorship, the war in Ukraine, and what they saw as a rigged election with only one winner. Putin claimed a landslide victory. Exit polls from the state-run Russian Public Opinion Research Center and the Public Opinion Foundation show that Putin won 87% of the vote in a vote that the US called “obviously neither free nor fair.”

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