(NYTimes) The Kremlin gave credit to a surprising source for the outpouring of support for Vladimir V. Putin in Sunday’s presidential election — the West.
Ella A. Pamfilova, the chairman of the Central Election Commission, said pressure on Russia from Western leaders helped to generate the 76.7 percent support for Mr. Putin.
“Our people always unite when the chips are down,” Ms. Pamfilova said on live television, in what appeared to be a reference to what Britain has said was a Russian nerve agent attack on one of its former spies, Sergei V. Skripal, and his daughter in Salisbury, England. […]
“The election results should be compared not with democracies, but with the Soviet Union,” wrote Ivan Kurilla, a historian, on Facebook. “Back then it was 99.9%, and now it’s 75%. It’s precisely by that 24% that today’s elections are freer than Soviet ones.” […]
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