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Putin Secures Fifth Term Amid Election Rigging Allegations

Vladimir Putin’s Fifth Term as President of Russia Has Been Confirmed. He Won the Presidential Election Held Over Three Days from the 15th to the 17th with an Overwhelming 87% of the Vote. However, the West has called it a “rigged election.”

Politico described this election as “rigged” and “fraudulent,” reporting that voters had no choice but to cast their votes.

BBC

Russia used transparent ballot boxes, ensuring no secrecy for the votes. The boxes varied in shape, manufacturing time, sealing method, and lid design, and the transparency of the ballot boxes was inconsistent, leading to a chaotic situation.

Also, voters marked ballots with a pen, and any mark, whether a circle or an X, was accepted as long as it didn’t cross into another candidate’s box.

This election introduced online voting, but it is also criticized as being easily manipulable.

BBC

Public servants and state-owned company employees were also coerced into voting.

They were reportedly ordered to ‘verify’ their ballots by voting for Putin. Some soldiers didn’t even fold their ballots before placing them into the transparent ballot boxes.

Ukrainians living in Russian-occupied territories were forced to vote by armed soldiers.

After invading Ukraine, Russia claimed territories such as Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and Mariupol as “new territories.” It opened polling stations there, where election officials accompanied by armed soldiers forced residents to vote.

Based on such instances, the U.S. and the European Union, among other Western countries, have criticized the Russian election as being neither free nor fair.

TASS

Despite this, Putin remained defiant.

On the 17th, Putin warned the West at his election campaign headquarters that a direct clash between Russia and NATO would lead to a ‘full-scale third world war.’

He stated, “We will realize we are just one step away from a full-scale Third World War, and nobody wants this scenario.”

The Kremlin also stated, “Everything in Russia is transparent,” and “The election system is transparent, and observers can check if they wish.” They emphasized that the “incredibly high support is the best evidence that there is no basis for speculation about illegal elections.”

TASS

Meanwhile, movements were resisting Russia during the election period.

On the first day of the election, people tried to set fire to polling stations or poured green liquid into ballot boxes. Ukraine dropped shells on a polling station in the Zaporizhzhia region with a drone.

Ukraine dropped bombs on a polling station in the Zaporizhia region using a drone.

On the final day, supporters of the anti-government activist Alexei Navalny, who died in prison last month, held a ‘Noon against Putin’ protest.

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