Putin wins Russian election and talks about Navaln

Putin wins Russian election and talks about Navaln

Russian President Vladimir Putin was upbeat after profitable a fifth time period in energy in Russia’s presidential election over the weekend. He selected the second to make his first public remarks on the demise of his political nemesis, Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny, mentioning his identify for the primary time in years.

Putin received Russia’s presidential election with a landslide 87% of the votes, exit polls prompt late Sunday, with votes nonetheless being declared Monday morning, each in Russia and from polls of Russians overseas. The pinnacle of Russia’s electoral authorities said Monday morning that voter turnout was a “record-breaking, unprecedented” 77%, up from 67.7% in 2018.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with the media at his marketing campaign headquarters in Moscow on March 18, 2024. 

Natalia Kolesnikova | Afp | Getty Photographs

Within the extremely stage-managed election, every of Putin’s three “opponents” on the poll paper — who belonged to Russia’s “systemic” opposition — garnered round 3-4% of the vote.

Anti-war candidates have been barred from the election and most Russian opposition figures are both in self-imposed exile, have been imprisoned, or killed in Russia, corresponding to Navalny, who died in a Russian Arctic penal colony final month.

Navalny’s household and supporters accused Putin of ordering Navalny’s demise. The Kremlin denied it had any involvement within the 47-year-old’s demise, with Russian authorities saying it was as a consequence of “pure causes.”

Putin talks about Navalny

Addressing his supporters and the press at his marketing campaign headquarters final night time, Putin was relaxed and upbeat, pledging to defend and strengthen Russia. He additionally used the second to make his first public feedback on Navalny’s demise, and mentioning his most vocal critic’s identify for the primary time in public in years.

Laudator Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Fee, stands in entrance of a projection of a portrait of Alexei Navalny as she presents him with the Bambi within the Braveness class on the seventy fifth Bambi Awards at Bavaria Movie Studios. As there was no signal of life from the imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny for days, considerations in regards to the 47-year-old are rising.

Image Alliance | Image Alliance | Getty Photographs

When requested by NBC’s Keir Simmons in regards to the demise, Putin responded by calling his demise a “unhappy occasion” and claiming he had been ready to contain Navalny in a prisoner swap with the West.

“As for Mr. Navalny. He has perished, that is at all times a tragic occasion. Nicely, we have now had different cases when folks died in jail. Has nothing like that ever occurred within the U.S.? It has occurred, and never as soon as,” Putin informed the assembled press and supporters Sunday night time, in feedback translated by NBC.

“By the best way, this shall be surprising however a number of days earlier than Mr Navalny perished, I used to be informed by a few of my colleagues and the administration staff, some folks, that there’s an thought to change Mr Navalny for some folks in jail in Western international locations. Consider me or not, the individual speaking to me hardly completed their sentence after I stated: ‘I agree!’ he claimed.

Putin stated he had agreed to the proposal on the situation that Navalny ought to by no means return to Russia, the place he was the figurehead of Russia’s opposition motion.

“However sadly, the factor that occurred occurred,” Putin stated, including, “Such issues occur, you possibly can’t do something about it. That is life” 

Navalny’s supporters stated final month that there had been late-stage talks between Russian and Western officers a few doable prisoner change involving Navalny earlier than his sudden demise, which was introduced on Feb. 16.

Final month, Navalny’s allies additionally stated that talks with Russian and Western officers about a prisoner swap involving Navalny have been underway. The politician’s longtime affiliate Maria Pevchikh stated the talks have been of their last phases simply days earlier than the Kremlin critic’s sudden and unexplained demise.

‘That character’

Putin was rumored to detest Navalny, famously refusing to even utter his greatest critic’s identify. Putin’s feedback on Sunday night time are believed to be the primary he has talked about Navalny’s precise identify in years.

The Moscow Occasions famous final month that since way back to 2017, Putin has not referred on to the Kremlin’s greatest opponent, as a substitute alluding to Navalny as “that character,” “this gentleman,” “a poor excuse for a politician” and “a sure political drive.”

The Russian media had adopted Putin’s cue, airbrushing Navalny out of their media protection. Final night time, when reporting Putin’s feedback, they described the opposition chief as a “blogger.” The opposition chief’s demise was barely talked about within the Russian press in any respect.

Predictable win

Throughout Putin’s 24 years in energy, opposition figures have been harassed, intimidated and imprisoned, with a quantity dying in mysterious circumstances.

The erasure of political opponents has made the reelection of Putin a foregone conclusion in current elections, and in 2024 the Kremlin was seen to be on the lookout for a landslide victory to legitimize Putin’s international insurance policies, significantly the conflict towards Ukraine.

“We have now many duties forward. However once we are consolidated — regardless of who needs to intimidate us, suppress us — no one has ever succeeded in historical past, they haven’t succeeded now, and they won’t succeed ever sooner or later,” he stated as he addressed supporters and the media late Sunday night time, in line with feedback translated by Reuters.

A basic view of the Russia’s Central Election Fee (CEC) Headquarters in Moscow, Russia on March 17, 2024. Putin received Russian presidential election with 87.97% of the vote, first official outcomes confirmed

Anadolu | Anadolu | Getty Photographs

Russian pro-Kremlin media hailed Putin’s file win, with information company RIA Novosti describing it as “a file within the historical past of recent Russia.” By the top of Putin’s subsequent time period in energy, in 2030, Putin may have overtaken Soviet dictator Josef Stalin because the longest-serving chief in Russia’s trendy historical past.

The U.S., U.Okay. and Ukraine have been among the many international locations decrying the most recent Russian poll as “neither free nor honest.”

Hundreds of Russians dwelling overseas queued up at polling stations outdoors Russian embassies to vote, with many collaborating within the “midday towards Putin” protests following a name from Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya for voters to spoil their votes or to vote for any candidate aside from Putin.

Authentic information supply Credit score: www.cnbc.com

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