Putin seeks fifth term in election marked by invasion of Ukraine

Flies_ Vladimir Putin He stated that he would order a response to the Ukrainian bombings and attributed them to the alleged will of Ukraine to “disturb” the elections that started this Friday in Russia, and in which he seeks to remain in power without an opposition that overshadows him.

In Ukraine, the large port city on the shores of the Black Sea, at least 20 people were killed and more than 70 wounded on Friday in one of the worst Russian bombings against this town, which has already been attacked twice in recent days.

Will surpass Catherine the Great

The elections, which will last until Sunday in this country that has more than 145 million inhabitants, with eleven time zones, which extends from the Far East to its borders with countries of the European Union, should allow Putin, 71 years old, to remain in office until 2030.

If that happens, he would become the longest-serving leader of Russia since Catherine the Great, who ruled for 34 years at the end of the 18th century.

His opponents are three candidates who did not oppose the offensive against Ukraine or the repression that decimated dissent; a somewhat more critical contender was challenged by the electoral commission.

Kremlin’s greatest adversary

His greatest political adversary, Alexei Navalny, died last month in an Arctic prison. His widow, Yulia Navalnaya called on Russians to gather in front of the polling stations at noon on Sunday, as a form of protest.

The Moscow prosecutor’s office warned that it would punish those involved in “the organization and participation in mass events.”

“Occupied” territories

Voting also takes place in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine and in Transnistria, a territory located in Moldova.

In Ukraine’s Donetsk region, controlled by Moscow, armed soldiers accompanied election officials as they set up ballot boxes on small tables in the street or on the hoods of vehicles.

Both Ukraine and the governments of Western powers described the elections as a “farce.” European Council President Charles Michel sarcastically congratulated Putin on his “overwhelming victory.”

The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, expressed his “condemnation” for the holding of the elections in territories of Ukraine “occupied” by Moscow.

Guterres “recalls that the attempted illegal annexation of regions of Ukraine has no validity under international law,” said spokesman Stéphane Dujarric, who underlined the UN’s “firm commitment” to “sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly,” its spokesman said.

Western powers

The conflict in Ukraine raised tensions between Russia and Western powers.

France, Germany and Poland remain “united” in their “determination” to prevent a Russian victory in Ukraine, declared French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin, together with the heads of government of Germany, Olaf Scholz, and from Poland, Donald Tusk.


The process does not proceed without incident. A woman was arrested in Moscow for having set fire to a voting booth, according to Russian media, and another, in her 20s, tried to throw a Molotov cocktail at a polling station in St. Petersburg, said a leader of the city.

Also in the Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk, one person was arrested for trying to set fire to an urn and another was arrested in the Chelyabinsk region for trying to throw a firecracker.