Russia won amid a contested presidential election

Have you missed the latest on the war in Ukraine? 20 minutes Takes stock for you every evening at 7:30pm. Between strong announcements, front-line developments and battle results, here are the highlights of the day.

Today's reality

Russian regions bordering Ukraine saw fresh strikes on Saturday in the middle of a presidential election, with at least two people killed in attacks and Vladimir Putin vowing to respond as he promises a successful re-election.

In Belgorod, Ukraine's closest and most frequently targeted city, “two people died, a man and a woman,” the governor of the region of the same name, Vyacheslav Klatkov, said, adding that eight rockets had hit. According to him, the man died after being hit by his truck and the woman died in the parking lot. The latter's son was seriously injured and doctors were “fighting for life”. Two others were injured.

Due to the attacks, shopping centers in Belgorod will be closed for two days, as well as schools in the city and several districts. The governor announced in the afternoon that fifteen more rockets were shot down by air defenses as they approached the city. On Friday, President Putin vowed that Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory would not go “unpunished.”

Today's report

I congratulate Vladimir Putin on his resounding victory in the election »

The humorous sentence was signed by Belgian Charles Michel, President of the Council of Europe on the X site (formerly Twitter). “No resistance. No freedom. There is no other way,” he added in the widely shared message. Although the outcome of the vote will not be known until Sunday, the victory of Vladimir Putin, who has been in power for 24 years, is not in doubt as no real challenger is standing.

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Number of days

Fifteen. Nowhere near the incumbent, Mozhem Obyasnit, a number of Russian regions have been subject to at least one attempt to sabotage a polling station since Friday, according to Russian intelligence media. As of Friday, about fifteen people in several cities had been arrested for pouring paint on ballot boxes, throwing Molotov cocktails at polling stations or setting fire to polling stations. Some of them face up to five years in prison for disrupting the election process, officials said.


The organization of Russian presidential elections in the annexed Ukrainian regions did not really converge within the international community. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and dozens of member states condemned the elections in these regions.

“The Secretary-General condemns the attempts of the Russian Federation to hold its presidential elections in the territories of Ukraine occupied by the Russian Federation. He recalls that the illegal attempt to annex the territories of Ukraine is invalid under international law,” announced his spokesman Stepan Dujarric.

Our file on the war in Ukraine

“Conducting elections in another UN member state without its consent is a clear disregard for sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said a joint speech read by Ukrainian Ambassador Serhiy Kislitsy, and fifty countries, including the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and even South Korea…

“Our cause is just, and we will win,” responded Dmitry Polyansky, the Russian deputy ambassador to the UN, assuring that the territories were “administratively and politically part of our country, whether you like it or not.”

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