NIn a short video released by the Kremlin (Russian presidency), it is possible to see Putin voting in his office, sitting in front of a computer.

Putin, who for computer security reasons rejects the use of the Internet and cell phones, has already voted remotely in 2021, during the legislative elections, in 2022, to elect Moscow deputies, and, in 2023, during the elections for the municipality of Moscow. Russian capital.

“It’s a very comfortable and safe way to vote. I recommend it to anyone who wants and can use it,” said the Kremlin leader in 2022.

At the same time, this is the first time that Russians can vote online in a presidential election, a tool criticized by the opposition as a potential instrument of fraud.

In 2000, 2004, 2012 and 2018, Putin exercised his right to vote in the electoral college of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Electronic voting is the preferred voting method for 80% of Muscovites, according to the Central Election Commission.

By 3:00 pm Moscow time (12:00 pm in Lisbon), on the first of three days of presidential elections, more than 2.3 million people out of almost eight million voters had already voted electronically in Moscow.

Russia is holding presidential elections between today and Sunday, in which Vladimir Putin is expected to be reappointed for a fifth presidential term until 2030, given the absence of independent opposition, information control and the specter of manipulation.

According to the Central Election Commission, 112.3 million voters are called to vote in Russia and also in the occupied regions of Ukraine and the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, in addition to 1.9 million abroad.

The Ukrainian authorities and Kiev’s Western partners denounce the holding of the election in the Ukrainian regions of Kherson, Zaporijia, Lugansk and Donetsk, partially occupied during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, as well as in Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, warning that it is illegal and will not be recognized.

The elections are seen as a mere formality with an anticipated winner, with only candidates classified as friendly towards the Kremlin being authorized.

On February 16, Russia’s best-known opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, whose bid to run against Putin in 2018 was rejected, died suddenly in prison under unclear circumstances while serving a 19-year sentence on extremism charges.

Less than a week later, Russia’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal by opposition figure Boris Nadezhdin, who has openly spoken out against the war in Ukraine, following a decision by the Central Election Commission that rejected his candidacy due to procedural irregularities.

Putin’s own candidacy is shrouded in a web of suspicion, after the Russian President was accused of violating the law by advancing constitutional reform to pave the way for his re-election for another six years.

In 2018, Putin won in the first round with 77.7%, leaving the other candidates far behind, in an election event that saw a registered turnout of 67.54%, although observers and individual voters reported widespread violations, including ballot box stuffing. and forced votes.

Read Also: Elections in Russia begin today with Putin unopposed for 5th term


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