NewsPope reportedly congratulates Putin amidst contentious election win

Pope reportedly congratulates Putin amidst contentious election win

Pope Francis' gesture. The Pope congratulated Putin.
Pope Francis' gesture. The Pope congratulated Putin.
Images source: © East News | TIZIANA FABI
1:02 PM EDT, March 19, 2024

The aftermath of the presidential elections in Russia is still resonating. Unofficial sources from Kremlin-affiliated media claim that Pope Francis extended congratulations to Vladimir Putin on his electoral success. However, the Vatican has yet to confirm these reports.

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Many news items from Russian outlets are questionable and could be part of the country's propaganda efforts.

Leonid Sevastianov, representing the World Union of Old Believers, conveyed this information during a discussion with the Kremlin's news agency RIA Novosti, referencing a private dialogue with Pope Francis.

Russia's controversial elections secure another term for Putin

The three-day presidential election in Russia concluded on Sunday, with official results from the Central Election Commission showing Putin receiving over 87 percent of the vote.

"Putin's re-election could potentially embolden him further," opines Latvian political scientist Karlis Bukovskis, director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs.

"Putin's continued presidency is likely to escalate aggression towards Ukraine," Bukovskis told the LSM portal. He predicts that Putin will now target the country with increased confidence.

"Putin is aware that the conflict could drag on for another three to four years, prompting considerations on how to bring it to a close," the expert added.

Bukovskis also speculates that Putin could secure up to 99 percent of the vote in future elections given the dubious legitimacy of the electoral process. He acknowledges, however, that even without malpractice, a majority of Russian voters might still support Putin, influenced by potent state propaganda and a lack of viable alternatives, especially in light of Alexei Navalny's death.

"It is alarming how thoroughly a single system, a single nation, can indoctrinate its populace," he reflects.

Source: RIA Novosti/PAP/WP

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