Russia: Five things to know about the presidential election

Here are five things to know about this election.

No resistance

The only candidates declared opposed to the conflict in Ukraine, including liberals Boris Nadezhdine and Ekaterina Dountsova, backed by tens of thousands of Russian signatures, were officially barred from running because of errors in their files.

In addition to Vladimir Putin, three candidates were recognized: nationalist Leonid Slutsky, communist Nikolai Kharitonov and businessman Vladislav Davankov. All supported the military campaign in Ukraine.

According to the government's critics, the participation of these three false adversaries served to divert discontent from different strata of Russian society and provide diversity to the referendum, while genuine opposition was suppressed by years of repression.

According to their opponents, the authorities have many tools to control the results: rigging online and remote votes, stuffing ballot boxes, falsifying the counted minutes, pressuring millions of civil servants across the country to leave. Vote for power.

Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of rival Alexei Navalny, met with her supporters at simultaneous offices and called on them to vote for “any candidate other than Putin” or have their ballots invalidated by writing “+Navalni+” in capital letters.

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Putin's promises

Although there is little doubt about the result, the government is investing heavily in the campaign. The aim: to strengthen Vladimir Putin's domestic and international legitimacy by showing that he enjoys massive support in the polls and in society.

Mr. Trump is in a better position after relative victories in Ukraine against the background of falling Western support for Kiev. Putin has increased his media appearances in recent weeks by appearing with students, in factories or aboard a nuclear bomber. Restraining forces.

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The Russian president will not participate in any election debates, something he has never done since coming to power a quarter of a century ago.

In his annual address to the nation at the end of February, he made a long series of numerical announcements, promising billions of rubles to modernize infrastructure, fight poverty and pronounced population decline, or digitize the country. President's plan until at least 2030.

In his address to the nation, Putin threatens the West and invokes the “real danger” of nuclear conflict.

Socio-economic concerns

Because while the Russian economy has been more resistant than expected to many Western sanctions, many Russians are worried about rising prices and, more generally, destabilization caused by the military campaign in Ukraine.

Human resource problems are compounded by the death or departure of thousands of young people and the flight of hundreds of thousands of people abroad for fear of being drafted into the military or resisting the conflict.

Despite promises of large sums of money and social benefits to military families, officials have been feverish in recent months in the face of protests by soldiers' wives demanding their return from the front.

It seeks to rule out multiple factors of dissatisfaction.

Many incentives

In public places, posters encourage Russians to vote for their patriotism. They bear the V, one of the symbols of Russian troops in Ukraine, and the slogan: “Together we are strong, let's vote for Russia!”

As usual, authorities will organize raffles with prizes and activities to encourage voter turnout in a country where distrust of politics, especially among the youth, is so strong.

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At the same time, Ukraine and its Western allies loom as potential problems. In December, Vladimir Putin warned of “foreign interference” during the referendum and promised a “tough response”.

Voting in Occupied Territories

Elections will also be held in Ukrainian territories occupied by Moscow from 2022, an example of the irony of Russian officials seeking to give the appearance of normalcy while waging a high-intensity conflict.

Kyiv claims that residents there face threats and violence to vote, which Moscow denies.

Russian soldiers stationed there slipped their ballots into the ballot box as if nothing had happened during early voting.

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