Putin’s Re-election Shakes US and Troubles Concept of Democracy

By Stephaney Wilson 
Elm Staff Writer

Vladimir Putin is once again taking power in Russia.  What else is new? He has been in power for a decade and continues to keep his grasp on leadership in Russia. According to Neil MacFarquhar from The New York Times, “Mr. Putin won 76.6 percent of the vote, and the turnout 67.47 percent was higher than the 65 percent participation rate in the last presidential election, in 2012. More than 56 million of Russia’s 110 million eligible voters backed Mr. Putin.”

That seems like a huge landslide to me. These big numbers will allow Putin to be in office for another six years.

This victory marks his fourth win, and the global community isn’t surprised. According to The New York Times, “Mr. Putin is expected to continue with little change in terms of trying to change in terms of trying to rebuild Russia as a global power while limiting economic reforms at home.”

It is clear that Putin does not do anything for the greater cause for his country. Then why is this guy still in power?

Many people in Russia do not have any other choice. There is opposition to Putin, but it does not have a lot of strength. We have seen time and time again brave Russians opposing Putin through protests and flyers. Not much of it seems to diminish the corruption that happens during every single election.

Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny was arrested weeks before the March 18 election and was barred from running after he called for a nationwide boycott of the vote, aiming to undermine Putin’s legitimacy. The intention was in the data that Kremlin uses to broadcast voter turnout. Yuliya Talmazan from NBC said, “This data is critical for us. This is part of an effort to ensure the government doesn’t inflate voter turnout numbers to boost its credibility.”

Between the lack of candidates running against Putin and fraudulent voting systems, there is very little hope for change. Younger Russians especially feel this way. Like many in the United States, the younger population seems to be just as outspoken about the politics. I am afraid that many Russians aren’t as hopeful that any change will happen. Nikita Pavolv, who lives in Nizhny Novgorod, a central Russian city, told the BBC, “It doesn’t matter, I wouldn’t have voted anyway. This is the election with no choice. There’s no prospect for me here.”

It is clear that Putin’s winning election was not honest.

Recently, news has erupted that there was a lack of honesty with our own U.S. election and potential ties to Russia. Ellen Nakashima from The Washington Post said, “The Trump administration on Thursday imposed fresh sanctions on Russian government hackers and spy agencies to punish Moscow for interfering in the 2016 presidential election and for a cyberattack against Ukraine and other countries last year that officials have characterized as ‘the most destructive and costly’ in history.”

We have fought back against the interferences of Russia in our election by imposing these sanctions, but my question is: how is Russia going to ever be a true democratic state?

I am a true globally scaled citizen that is all for free-will and the ability vote. I want what is best for everyone on the planet, not just in Maryland.

Trump knows very little about how to deal with Putin, as we saw recently when he dispelled the diplomats. Will that really solve the issue? The continued power of this leader may cause trouble in U.S. politics as well as in Russia itself.  It is  a very complicated situation indeed.

The takeaway from this is that the Putin election truly shows us that we as a world have taken one step back, but hopefully in the next years to come we move a step forward.


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