Russians Vote for President
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Overall, 97,000 polling stations in 11 Russian time zones are open from 8:00AM – 8:00PM, longer, if necessary, to accommodate everyone wishing to vote – 400 locations provided for Russian citizens located abroad to cast ballots.
US-installed putschists running Ukraine barred Russian citizens from voting – the only nation taking this illegal action, encouraged and supported by Washington.
With eight candidates competing for Russia’s highest office, there’s no ambiguity about the outcome, Putin certain to be reelected, turnout the only unknown.
Russia’s Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) estimated a near-80% turnout – compared to 65% in the 2012 presidential election and 56% in America’s 2016 federal, state and local elections.
Since establishment of the Russian Federation after the Soviet Union’s dissolution, turnout in the country’s elections exceeded 70% only once.
In presidential elections since 1991, it ranged from about 65% to just under 70%.
Russian voters turned out enthusiastically for the 1991 first post-Soviet presidential election – turnout nearly 75%.
Western favorite Boris Yeltsin defeated two challengers. He presided over Russia’s lost decade.
Adopting US shock therapy (neoliberal forced-fed austerity), 80% of Russian farmers went bankrupt, 70,000 state factories closed. An unemployment epidemic affected millions of working-age citizens.
GDP plunged 50%. Life expectancy fell markedly. Half or more of ordinary Russians became impoverished.
A permanent underclass was created. Crime, suicides, mortality, alcoholism, drug abuse, and HIV/AIDS soared to intolerable levels.
Fantasy democracy was created. An oligarch class accumulated enormous wealth. Western interests profited at the expense of millions of exploited Russians.
Yeltsin let corruption and criminality flourish. One scandal followed others. Massive amounts of stolen wealth were stashed in Western banks or offshore tax havens.
Putin chose a different way, notably by defending Russian sovereign independence, along with opposing Washington’s imperial agenda, why he’s vilified in the West.
According to RT, early turnout in Sunday’s presidential election as of 7:00 GMT stood at 16.5% – compared to 6.53% at the same time in 2012.
Preliminary results will be announced Monday – RT to provide special coverage after polls close, along with election reports throughout the day.
Shortly after voting began, the broadcaster said “Russia’s Central Election Commission came under a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack after the voting started, according to chairperson Ella Pamfilova.”
“Lasting from 2am until 5am on Sunday, the DDoS attack originated from some 15 countries” – clearly Western and perhaps allied ones.
A follow-up article will discuss the election results when known.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”