Helena Lyng Blak
9 weeks ago

Tomorrow, Russia’s presidential election begins: Here’s what you need to know

As war rages on in Ukraine, Russians prepare for the presidential election.
The hand of woman putting her vote in the ballot box. Russian flags on background.
andriano.cz / Shutterstock.com

Where and when?
The election will take place from March 15 to March 17 in Russia, as well as in their so-called “new territories,” which include parts of Ukraine controlled by Russian forces.

Who is in the running?
Vladimir Putin is, of course, running to remain president after a 2020 amendment to the Russian constitution made it possible for him to serve two more six-year terms.

Aside from Putin, three candidates have been allowed to run for president, as per Reuters: Nikolai Kharitonov, a Communist Party candidate who supports the war in Ukraine; Leonid Slutsky, an ultra-nationalist who also supports the war and was previously accused of sexual harassment by multiple female journalists; and Vladislav Davankov, who has said that he is for “Peace and talks. But on our terms and with no roll-back."

Two anti-Ukraine war candidates, Yekaterina Duntsova and Boris Nadezhdin, were disqualified from running. Both were accused of having flaws in the papers they submitted in support of their candidacy.

Lastly, Alexei Navalny, Putin’s most prominent critic and political threat, died at age 47 in a prison colony this February.

The Kremlin's goal for the election
As reported by The Washington Post, Putin’s regime has, in the past, not been shy about manipulating elections, controlling the media, and destroying the opposition by any means possible.

Nevertheless, for Putin, the election will help him create at least an impression of legitimacy for his presidency as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine.

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