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Vladimir Putin re-elected by a landslide – Russian presidential election turns into a plebiscite

Vladimir Putin re-elected by a landslide – Russian presidential election turns into a plebiscite

At the end of a presidential election with a turnout of 77.44% (the highest turnout of the whole history of Russia), Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President of Russia with more than 87% of the vote. A record score that sounds like a plebiscite of Vladimir Putin’s policies by the Russian people.

In the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the Russian presidential election began on 10 March 2024, with early home voting. Because of the bombardments by the Ukrainian army and the risk of terrorist attacks by Kiev, the DPR electoral commission decided to spread the vote over more days than in the other regions of the Russian Federation, and to use the system of mobile polling stations already used during the last two elections. The aim is to avoid having too great a concentration of civilians in the polling stations, in case the Ukrainian army decides to bomb them.

This mobile polling station system is very practical for people who work, including at weekends (as I did, for example, see below), and for the elderly and those with reduced mobility, who can vote without leaving their homes.

Of course, in order to ensure the safety of the members of these mobile electoral commissions (most of whom are women), members of the security forces accompanied them, to protect them if necessary (and not to threaten voters who did not vote properly, one of the many lies told by the Western media about the Russian elections).

After five days of early voting, which brought the turnout in the DPR to 57.84%, pointing to an extremely high final turnout, the DPR opened its polling stations at 8am on 15 March 2024. I was able to attend the opening of one of the Donetsk polling stations, as well as the vote by the chairman of the DPR People’s Council and head of Vladimir Putin’s campaign headquarters, Artiom Joga. This was an opportunity to verify the strict application of the procedures designed to ensure the validity of the ballot.

And as always when there is an election in the DPR, a festive atmosphere prevails in the polling stations. Concerts, drawing competitions, quizzes on the history of the Donbass, or that of Russia, and even voters spontaneously breaking into song when they hear their favourite song (in this case the song “Я русский” – “I am Russian” – by singer Shaman) in the polling station.

After three days of voting, the DPR closed its polling stations at 3 p.m. (instead of 8 p.m. for the other regions of the Russian Federation), to allow members of the electoral commissions close to the front line to return home in complete safety (public transport ceases to operate fairly quickly in the evening). And the ballot counting could begin.

Once all the ballots had been counted, the turnout in the DPR was 88.25%, well above the national average of 77.44%, and Vladimir Putin’s score was over 95%, compared with a total of over 87% for the whole of the Russian Federation!

Many of the people I interviewed clearly said that they were going to vote or had voted for Vladimir Putin (I was unable to publish these interviews before the final result in order to comply with electoral rules, but I will publish them soon). So I knew that his score would be historically high, especially in the new regions of the Russian Federation.

For the inhabitants of the DPR that I was able to interview as they left the polling stations, fulfilling their civic duty by voting was a way of thanking Russia for having accepted the Republic into its midst, and for having given them Russian citizenship. It was also a way of showing that they were worthy of the citizenship they had been fighting for for 10 years.

Christelle Néant

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1 Comment


    En tant que Français, toutes mes félicitations au Président POUTINE ! Et, “imprévue du jour”, mes sincères condoléances à propos de l’ attentat.

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