HomeUnited StatesOn Russia’s Presidential Elections - United States Department of State

On Russia’s Presidential Elections – United States Department of State

Russia’s recent presidential election occurred in an environment of intense repression of independent voices and the imprisonment, death, or exile of virtually all genuine political opposition.  The Kremlin has systematically marginalized groups advocating for democratic processes and rule of law, including election monitors.  Russian authorities also denied anti-war candidates’ registration for the presidential election on spurious technical pretenses and did not invite the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, or any credible international organizations, to observe polling.  These steps illustrate the extent to which the Kremlin has denied its citizens a transparent, meaningful democratic process.  Against this backdrop, this election can only be described as undemocratic.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin has attempted to project the illusion that the Russian public is unequivocally behind its brutal war by eliminating space for civic discourse and deepening its campaign of intimidation, violence, and censorship against independent media and civil society.  The Kremlin conducted sham presidential elections in temporarily occupied parts of Ukraine as a blatant propaganda exercise, in the hopes it would strengthen Russia’s illegitimate claim to the parts of Ukraine it illegally invaded and now occupies.  Weeks before the election, Aleksey Navalny died in prison after years of harassment and cruel treatment at the hands of Russian authorities for his continued efforts to foster genuine democracy in Russia.

Vladimir Putin is depriving Russian citizens of access to information, including to inform political participation.  Regardless of the pre-determined outcome of this election, the United States will continue to stand with those who are pursuing a brighter future for Russia.

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