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Behind Putin’s Rigged Russian Election Win

Vladimir Putin has been re-elected as Russia’s president for the fifth time over the weekend.

Putin looks to be set to win about 88 per cent of the vote, which Politico journalist Zoya Sheftalovich says is “dictator figures”.

The other candidates named on the ballot did not list any policies, and did not engage in any debate with Putin.

Listen to The Briefing where Sacha Barbour Gatt sits down with Zoya Sheftalovich to discuss Russia’s rigged elections:

Before the polls even opened all serious challengers had been wiped out, with Putin’s only real opposition, Alexei Navalny, dying in mysterious circumstances weeks before.

“He either killed or imprisoned or sent into exile anyone who would give him a run for his money,” Sheftalovich says.

Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader and vocal anti-corruption politician, died last month in an Arctic prison colony, where he was being held as a political prisoner.

Two other anti-war candidates were also barred from the election.

A large number of people were forced to the polls on Friday for fear of punishment, and had to show they had already voted if they turned up for work.

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Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, called for protestors to turn out to polling booths at the same time to create long queues.

Due to a high risk of young people being locked up for civil protests, minor protest actions, such as pouring paint into ballot boxes and firebombings, were carried out by elderly women, or women in general.

Despite the protest action demonstrating some dissent in Russia, Sheftalovich says it is not enough to significantly combat Putin.

“There is a very large proportion of Russians who don’t see any issues with Putin, or if they do see some issues they still credit him with turning the country around after the Perestroyka era,” Sheftalovich says.

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