NewsRussian Presidential Elections Extend Amid Scrutiny and Armed Oversight

Russian Presidential Elections Extend Amid Scrutiny and Armed Oversight

This is what elections in Russia look like. Outrageous recording.
This is what elections in Russia look like. Outrageous recording.
Images source: © PAP
5:09 AM EDT, March 17, 2024

Sunday marks the third day of the presidential elections in Russia, occurring two years after the Kremlin invaded Ukraine. A video surfaced online showing an armed soldier inspecting the voting booths.

Be aware that many details shared by Russian media or government officials may be elements of propaganda, part of the informational warfare led by the Russian Federation.

The Russian elections began on Friday, spanning three days for the first time in history. Voting is also taking place in Ukrainian territories occupied by Russian forces, often under coercive conditions.

Biełsat posted a video on social media depicting the voting process at one of the polling stations where an armed military officer is seen entering booths and monitoring the voters.

"Look what's happening. It's been like this all day," whispers a voice in the video, as reported by Biełsat.

The ballot lists four names

The ballot includes the names of Putin and his official challengers: Nikolai Kharitonov, Vladislav Davankov, and Leonid Slutsky.

As noted by the BBC's Russian service, Putin has been wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2023 for his involvement in the deportation of Ukrainian children, a crime classified as a war atrocity.

Kharitonov is a Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) candidate, Slutsky represents the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), previously led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and Davankov is affiliated with the New People party, serving as Deputy Chairman of the Parliament. These factions, seated in the Russian Parliament, are not in opposition; they remain supportive of the Kremlin and its policies.

An independent portal, Meduza, reported in March 2024, based on Kremlin insiders, that the government's strategy aims for over 80 percent of the votes for Putin with a high voter turnout of 70 to 80 percent. According to these sources, voter turnout is expected to be bolstered by mobilizing those completely dependent on the state: employees of budgetary institutions, state-owned enterprises, and large companies loyal to the government. There is pressure on them to vote and to bring others, such as family members and friends.

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