Putin’s 88%-Is it Correct ?

Putin’s 88%-Is it Correct ?

Vladimir Putin’s landslide victory in the Russian Presidential election, securing 88% of the vote, was expected due to the absence of credible challengers. While turnout was high at 74.22%, protests erupted in some areas, particularly among followers of the late Alexei Navalny. Western media labeled the election as fraudulent, citing Putin’s authoritarian reputation, but the context of Russia’s historical transition from Tsarist rule to communist dictatorship and, subsequently, to Putin’s brand of authoritarianism complicates this interpretation.

Putin’s leadership is viewed through a different lens in Russia, where historical figures like Lenin and Stalin are revered for their transformative roles. Putin salvaged Russia after the disintegration of the USSR and has resisted Western attempts to encroach on its sphere of influence, notably in Ukraine. Despite facing international sanctions, Russia has maintained its economy with growing defence production and forged closer ties with China.

War in Ukraine 

The war in Ukraine, now in its third year, has galvanized Russian nationalism, with most Russians supporting Putin’s actions. Putin portrays the conflict as a defense against Western aggression, resonating with many Russians who see their country’s actions as justified. Surveys indicate strong national pride and approval of Putin’s leadership, especially in handling foreign policy.

Western Values 

However, concerns persist about the encroachment of Western values and limited opposition in Russian politics. While the majority view Ukraine as part of the Russian identity, some acknowledge the need for political opposition. Surveys conducted by the Levada Centre and other organizations show high levels of approval for Putin and support for the military operation in Ukraine, reflecting a rally-round-the-flag effect.

Critics argue that Russian media’s limited exposure to alternative viewpoints and self-censorship contribute to a skewed narrative favouring the government. Despite international criticism, Putin’s leadership remains strong, bolstered by widespread support and perceptions of Western encroachment.

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