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Vladimir Putin Claims Victory in Russian Presidential Election

March 18, 2024
Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin emerged victorious in the Russian presidential election on Sunday, securing a staggering 87.97 percent of the votes, according to reports from news agency Reuters. The tightly controlled three-day election, commencing on Friday, unfolded within an environment devoid of public dissent towards Putin or his military actions in Ukraine. Notably absent from the political arena is Putin’s formidable opponent, Alexei Navalny, who tragically passed away in an Arctic prison last month, while other dissenting voices find themselves either incarcerated or exiled.

At 71 years old, Putin faces nominal competition from candidates affiliated with Kremlin-friendly parties, who have abstained from criticizing his lengthy 24-year tenure or the extensive Ukrainian incursion initiated two years prior. Despite Putin’s rhetoric touting Russian military achievements leading up to the election, a significant Ukrainian drone assault launched against Russia early Sunday underscored the formidable challenges confronting Moscow.

Russia’s scattered opposition rallied disenchanted citizens to voice their dissent against Putin and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine by participating in the polls at noon on Sunday—an initiative endorsed by Navalny shortly before his demise. Navalny’s allies have hailed this strategy as effective, sharing images and videos depicting crowds gathering near polling stations across various Russian cities. However, the extent to which these gatherings reflect adherence to Navalny’s call or simply routine high turnout around midday remains uncertain.

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Voting is underway across the vast expanse of Russia’s 11 time zones, encompassing illegally annexed territories in Ukraine, as well as online platforms. Early indications suggest significant participation, with over 60% of eligible voters casting their ballots as of Sunday morning.

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