The “voting” in Russia

Graphic displaying a map of Russia, who recently held a major election. Graphic Courtesy of Paige Albright/BU News Service.

By Paige Albright

Boston University News Service

Russian citizens went to the polls this past Monday, March 18 for the first Russian Federation election since the start of the war with Ukraine. This left many unable to predict the position of the citizens.

Many predicted the response to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression to Ukraine would hurt his campaign, even as he ran largely unchallenged. Many even referred to the election as “the voting” due to the lack of any real choices besides Putin. His re-election would make his term as president the longest since the Russian Revolution.

Despite the war with Ukraine putting a huge question mark over the polling, Putin still came out victorious. As Putin won the election, or “voting,” in a landslide, the national polling returned showed the largest support for the president’s administration. A reported 77% of Russian citizens voted, with 87% voting for Putin. In a separate poll that collected the attitudes of voters, Putin received his highest approval rate of 88%.

Even as sanctions due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine devastated the economy, a year later Russia has seemed to bounce back. As Western companies like H&M and Coca-Cola left due to restrictions on the state, Russian and Middle Eastern companies and brands have filled in the gaps. Most notably CoolCola has taken over the market Coca-Cola left behind in Russia. 

However, many see the data put forth by the Kremlin as highly questionable. Alex Navalny, the only real opponent to Putin, who disapproved of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, died in a Siberian prison, serving a sentence for extremism, a highly contended claim. A silent protest was seen by Russian citizens as well, many going to the polls to defame ballots or write in “the clown” as their vote for president. 

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