Russian Presidential Elections: Voting Abroad in India Amidst Global Interest – Defence News

Russian citizens residing in India have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming presidential elections of the Russian Federation, scheduled for this Sunday, March 17, 2024. The Embassy has established a polling station, notably Polling station no. 8099, located within the premises of the Russian Trade Representation in New Delhi, India.

This election comes at a pivotal time as three days of nationwide voting commenced in Russia on Friday amidst the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin, widely expected to secure another term, faces minimal opposition in these elections, occurring against the backdrop of heightened global scrutiny, particularly in the contested region of Donbass.

The special thing is that this voting will also take place in those areas of Donbass which Russia had captured from Ukraine two years ago. According to the information available in the public domain, voting in Russia has started first in the Far-Eastern provinces and will end in the western provinces on Sunday. Spread over 1.70 lakh square kilometers, Russia has a population of around 15 crores. In such a situation, conducting elections in such a large area is a big challenge. But the bigger challenge is voting in Donbass, which was a part of Ukraine till two years ago.

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Russian citizens permanently residing or temporarily staying in India are eligible to take part in the elections of the President of the Russian Federation at the polling station established by the Embassy this Sunday (March 17, 2024). In New Delhi the elections will be organised at Polling station no. 8099 which is located in the building of the Russian Trade Representation in Delhi, India.

Background

On 22 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an attack (special military operation) on Ukraine and declared the entire Donbass areas liberated. For this, it was announced to divide Donbass into two parts (Donetsk and Luhansk) and form a government by providing help to local rebel organizations. A few months later, with a referendum, Putin made both these areas a part of the Russian Federation.

Just before the elections, Putin has issued Russian passports in the entire Donbass region. This means that now anyone will need a Russian visa to enter Donbass. This is the reason why the whole world will watch the electoral process in Donbass.

Putin Again?

However, it is believed that it is almost certain that Putin will become the President of Russia for the sixth time. This time, there is hardly any opposition to Putin, who is contesting the elections as an independent candidate. There is no strong candidate in front of him. These elections are taking place at a time when Navalny, Putin’s staunch (political) opponent, died under suspicious circumstances in a Russian prison just a few weeks ago.

Putin has been the President of Russia since 2000. During the waging of war against Ukraine, the whole world started feeling that the people of Russia would turn against Putin. But contrary to the opinion of political pundits, the war has strengthened Putin’s image. He has received record support in all surveys. Even in global surveys, he is being counted as the most accepted head of state in the world.

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