Putin’s rivals already waving the white flag as he cruises to another VICTORY in Russia’s elections
By Ava Grace // Feb 08, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin is sure to snatch another victory – and a fifth term – thanks to his rivals, who are aware that they don't stand a chance against the incumbent.

Leonid Slutsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), remarked after registering his presidential candidacy in December: "I don't dream of beating Putin. What's the point?" Andrei Bogdanov from the Russian Party of Freedom and Justice, meanwhile, responded to a question if he had a chance to win: "Of course not. Do I look like an idiot?"

While the 71-year-old Putin is running as an independent, he retains tight control over Russia's political system he had established during his 24 years in power. According to the Associated Press, prominent critics who could pose a potential challenge languish in jail and most independent media outlets are prohibited. Thus, his reelection in the country's March polls looks all but assured.

Over the years, Putin has assembled a political system that squeezes out rivals seen as posing a threat. At times, however, it permits and encourages a handful of contenders who uphold a facade of fair elections – while ultimately backing his line on the issues that the Kremlin cares about most.

"It's a question of principle, said Paris-based Russian political analyst Tatyana Stanovaya. "He wants to reassure himself that people support him and he needs it to show the world that he still benefits from huge social support."

"From Putin's point of view, this is a healthy, responsible and constructive opposition that understands the rules. But they are part of the vertical, and they are not really independent." (Related: Putin: Russian elections are far more HONEST and TRANSPARENT than rigged U.S. elections.)

One notable independent opposition candidate was Alexei Navalny, who became active following his failed presidential bid in 2018. However, he and his supporters fell victim to Putin's crackdown on opposition figures. Navalny was convicted and is now serving a 19-year sentence in an Arctic prison colony.

"Potemkin candidates" pose a pretend challenge to Putin

"Candidates fielded by the main Kremlin-approved parties have publicly stated they won't criticize Putin," the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said. "Despite their tightly managed nature, analysts say elections are important to Putin as a way to legitimize his continued rule. He can use the result he garners as evidence that he retains popular backing in Russia, wielding it against potential rivals and citing it at international summits."

The outlet also recounted the stories of several "Potemkin candidates" who tried to challenge the incumbent. One such candidate, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, contested six presidential elections – earning himself a reputation as a foil for Putin. Zhirinovsky, who founded the LDPR that Slutsky now leads, died in April 2022.

The WSJ also recounted a more recent election in Russia, that of 2018. Putin found himself being "challenged" by two candidates – socialite and TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak and farming tycoon Pavel Grudinin. Sobchak defended the incumbent's reputation and urged Russians not to "demonize" him, leading to accusations of her being a Kremlin plant.

Meanwhile, Grudinin amassed so much grassroots support after he was nominated by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation – the successor to the Soviet-era political party. Given this, authorities moved to rein him in with a propaganda campaign on both state TV and online that sought to discredit him.

Putin garnered the No. 1 spot for Russia's elections in 2018 with 77.5 percent of the vote. Grudinin came in a distant second with 11.9 percent, while Sobchak landed at fourth place with less than two percent of the vote.

Visit FakePolls.news for more stories about rigged elections.

Watch former Rep. Ron Paul (R-KY) discusses the Biden administration's claim that Putin is meddling in the 2020 U.S. elections below.

This video is from the What is happening channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

NGOs demand that NO ELECTIONS be held in Ukraine to "preserve democracy."

Presidential candidates clash over Ukraine aid during first 2024 GOP primary debate.

Permanent dictator: Zelensky declares NO MORE ELECTIONS in Ukraine until war ends.

Sources include:

WSJ.com

Brighteon.com



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