(T-Vogue) Vladimir Putin won his fourth term as president on Sunday, March 18, and will continue to lead Russia for the next six years. Before Sunday’s results came in, some election-watchers had likened voter turnout to a referendum on Putin’s Russia-first policies. While his victory was all but guaranteed, it was thought turnout would indicate how actively Russians were willing to support the incumbent president. In the end, official Russian sources said Putin won more than 76 percent of the overall vote, with voter turnout around 67 percent, higher than in 2012, the BBC reported. With less than a quarter of the total vote spread among them, none of seven candidates running against Putin came close.
The leader of the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalny, called for his followers to boycott the vote after he was disqualified for running for office in December, as NPR reported. Navalny rose to prominence by exposing corruption and challenging the the ruling party, United Russia, according to the BBC. Navalny maintains that the embezzlement charges cited as grounds to disqualify him from running, as covered by The Guardian, were designed to damage his political ambitions. Navalny, who’s outspoken on social media, spent Election Day retweeting videos that alleged ballot stuffing at voting stations in Russia. […]
“There’s no way that Putin could be this popular and the system could work this well if he hadn’t destroyed independent media,” Elise Giuliano, an international relations lecturer at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, told Teen Vogue. “There’s no independent media. They control TV.” […]
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