President Vladimir Putin has registered another glorified victory thus extending his position for next years in the largest country in the world. The victory message is sent loud and clear to the West at a time when the ties are on a downward spiral. Putin is here to stay until at least the first quarter of the century is complete i.e. 2024. Putin in his victory speech has thanked the voters and stated that his primary focus will be to build defences against the Western powers and alliances, in addition, to consider raising the quality of life for his people. Putin stated that the victory is Vote of Confidence which the voters placed in him as he steered Russia through rough weather in recent years.
The Central Election Commission has announced that Putin has won by a huge percent of 76.66 votes. Pavel Grudinin had won a dismal figure of only 11.8 percent votes while Zhirinovsky only 5.6 percent. Putin had an approval rating of almost 80 percent before elections which had sealed his victory. This had made the officials to compel people to go and vote as the fears of a one-sided contest could have led to very low turnout. There was a total of 67.47 percent voting recorded which is close to the 70 percent figure being chased by the administration. The Central Election Commission confirmed there were no irregularities or violations. Many Russian loyalists believe that the win is due to the tough Putin stance on West in recent years and it is a sound message to both US and UK that they have no influence on Russian elections.
The Russians living in Ukraine could not participate in the elections as Kiev government had blocked access to all Russian diplomatic missions in Ukraine. This was the first Russian Presidential election in Crimea after its annexation.
Xi Jinping is the first world leader to congratulate Putin on the great win. Best wishes were also sent by the leaders of Kazakhstan, Venezuela, Belarus, Cuba and Bolivia while the West has given a muted response to the same. Germany has stated that Russia will remain a difficult partner to work with but it will still maintain the dialogue. EU has chosen not to comment on the recent victory but has expressed condemnation of the spy poisoning.
Alexei Navalny the leader of Opposition has doubted the fairness of the whole election and is expected to call for a re-election after the international observers found any irregularity in the same.
Russia and West
Putin had resorted to use of highly provocative language in the run-up to the elections in his state-of-the-nation speech in which he had raised curtains over the new nuclear arsenal and outrightly stated that the latter was capable of striking any point in the world and are highly advanced systems which can escape the most sophisticated missile shields of United States of America.
Putin Loyalists portray him as the Father of the Nation who has fostered National pride and considerably raised the Russian stature on the World map with notable intrusions in both Syria and Ukraine. Both have lent Russia greater bargaining power and regional influence. On the contrary, his critics see his regime as dishonest and severe which had made unreasonable advances on foreign territory especially the annexation of Crimea which had led to its isolation internationally and Western sanctions which had crippled the Russian economy which had sprung back last year.
There is an air discontent between West and Russia which is getting thicker over the recent Spy-poisoning incident and the alleged meddling of Kremlin in the US Presidential elections in 2016.
It is expected that the West-Russia stand-off will stay as reflected by the victory speech. West is more wary of any upcoming cyber attacks and also attempts to disrupt their political systems.
The victory will definitely change the dynamics of the world with Russia and it will not be surprising to see if Putin extends his tenure beyond the Constitutional limits after making suitable amendments to the same.