Russia readies to hand Putin a new term

Presidential polls to be held today

Russian voters are gearing up for a presidential election on Sunday, that Vladimir Putin is guaranteed to win. They are facing unusually intense pressure to vote, to grant him a convincing new mandate to pursue his nationalist strategy.

Candidates were barred from campaigning on Saturday, but the message to voters was clear from billboards celebrating Russian greatness, a big theme of Mr. Putin’s leadership, and Kremlin-friendly media coverage.

Mr. Putin urged Russians on Friday to “use their right to choose the future for the great Russia that we all love.”

He warned that failure to cast a ballot would mean that “this decisive choice will be made without your opinion taken into account.”

While Mr. Putin has seven challengers on the ballot, none is a real threat. The last time he faced voters in 2012, he had faced a serious opposition movement, but since then he has boosted his popularity thanks to Russian actions in Ukraine and Syria.

More than 1,500 international observers are joining thousands of Russian observers to watch the vote.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 4:17:57 PM |

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