Just as expected. Vladimir Putin won Russia's elections with 87.8% of the vote, the highest result ever recorded in the post-Soviet era. Having first come to power in 1999, with a term until 2030, the tsar is preparing to match Stalin's years of political longevity. And since he will be able to run for a sixth term, he could even surpass him. Communist candidate Nikolai Kharitonov came second in the elections with just under 4%. Vladislav Davankov third and the ultranationalist Leonid Slutsky fourth. In his victory speech, the president said he would strengthen the Russian military and prioritize the special operation in Ukraine. He also nominated Alexei Navalny for the first time, saying he was ready to release him and that protests on his behalf did not affect the election outcome.

A man in charge

From their exile or prison, opposition leaders had urged the population to go massively to the polls at noon in memory of Navalny and to vote against Putin. Hundreds of people followed the call, first and foremost the widow of dissident Navalnaya who voted in Berlin by writing her husband's name on the ballot paper. Today, Putin is expected to celebrate his victory, on the tenth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, with a concert in Moscow's Red Square. Then explain the Corriere della Sera, he will change a few pieces on his chessboard. Danone's assets will be entrusted to Mintimer Mingozov. The next head of government could be Dimitry Patrushev, Minister of Agriculture and son of Nikolai, a Putin loyalist. The Petersburg clan, however, will remain anchored in power. Which is very firmly in the hands of whoever started the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine

Meanwhile, authorities are trying to avoid further partial mobilization for the war in Ukraine. But the electoral victory leaves his hands even freer. Also because, explains Denis Volkov of the Levada Center, “there is no doubt that its consensus is around 80%. This has been the case since February 2022. Before the special military operation, half of Russians were in favor of its renewal, the other half against. After February 24, 2022, support for a new Putin term in the Kremlin increased from 45% to 75%, then to 78% and finally to 80%. But if we calculate this percentage only among those who are ready to vote, it rises to 85%. Nothing abnormal then. The only unknown was the participation rate. But we were certain that this figure would exceed that of 2018 because Putin's intense campaign to get people to the polls worked. Thanks also to the three-day elections and remote voting,” he emphasizes.

Support for the war

There is no doubt that Putin enjoys great support for the war in Ukraine: “There are very aggressive men who claim that Russia should reach the Ukrainian border with Poland. They represent only 20% and constitute the core of the 45-50% of the population who strongly support the Russian army in Ukraine. Then there is 30% whose support is weaker, circumstantial. People who think war is bad, but trust Putin because he “knows how to act.” In any case, as in 2014, most Russians consider the conflict in Ukraine as part of the eternal confrontation between Russia and the West. »

The economy

When wanting to explain the reason for the tsar's consensus, Volkov cites economics: “Thanks to the indexation of pensions and wages and the expansion of social benefits, there was a great redistribution of wealth. In addition, half a million Russians left the country and another half were recruited or enlisted as volunteers. In total, more than a million Russians are missing from the economy which, combined with the military industry operating at full capacity, has generated more jobs and higher wages. All of this fuels great optimism and contributes to maintaining social stability. It is not Russian society that has adapted, as is often said, but the state has invested a lot to help it adapt. And society reciprocates by being loyal to the regime. Another important factor is that the majority of the population is not directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine. He can live his life normally. The only big shock was the partial mobilization, but it was overcome. »

In Belgorod

Voting also took place in the border region of Belgorod. Despite the Ukrainian bombings and the infiltration attempts of the Russians who are on the side of kyiv. In Moscow, police have deployed at strategic points, such as metro stations. For his part, Leonid Volkov, Navalny's former right-hand man who was attacked with hammers in recent days in Lithuania, declared that Putin's landslide victory “has nothing to do with reality.”

Cover photo of: Sous-pile

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