Kremlin says Russia ‘theoretically’ doesn’t need to hold elections next year because it’s ‘obvious’ Putin will win

Russian President Vladimir Putin standing in front of a Russian flag while wearing a black suit with a patterned tie.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.GAVRIIL GRIGOROV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

  • The Kremlin’s spokesperson said Russia “theoretically” doesn’t need to hold presidential elections next year.

  • The elections don’t need to happen because “it’s obvious that Putin will be reelected,” Dmitry Peskov said.

  • Putin has maintained a tight grip on power, making his 2024 re-election all but certain.

A spokesperson for the Kremlin said this week that Russia “theoretically” doesn’t need to hold presidential elections next year because it’s “obvious” that Vladimir Putin will win.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s chief spokesperson, described Russia’s presidential election as “not really democracy” but “costly bureaucracy” in an interview with The New York Times over the weekend.

“Mr, Putin will be reelected next year with more than 90 percent of the vote,” he added.

After the article was published, Peskov claimed he was misquoted by The Times and tried to clarify his comments, telling Russia’s RBK news outlet that the 2024 election “theoretically” doesn’t need to happen because “it’s obvious that Putin will be reelected.”

Putin’s reelection in March 2024 is indeed almost certain; but the Russian leader has largely maintained his grip on power by cracking down on the independent press, reportedly approving the assassinations and imprisonment of dissidents and political rivals; and approving a sweeping change to Russia’s constitution that allows him to stay in power until 2036.

Next year’s presidential election — if it happens — will also come amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Putin, who described the invasion as a “special military operation,” has characterized it as being essential to Russia’s survival as a nation, but the war is increasingly unpopular among Russian citizens and even within the Russian military.

One Russian inmate told The New York Times in June that he believed he was signing up to become an army construction worker when a government official recruited him from prison. Instead, he was sent to the frontlines in eastern Ukraine and captured by Ukrainian forces a few days later.

Other Russian soldiers said that they were “fucking fooled like little kids” and had no clue they were being sent to a war zone. In one audio recording previously obtained by The Times, a Russian soldier told his mother during a phone conversation that “no one told us we were going to war. They warned us one day before we left.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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