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The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

Protests Ruin Putin’s Pretense of a Reelection

The reality of the Russian election depicted in a voting for president of Russia. (Amena Nouhaili)

To no one’s surprise, Vladimir Putin has won yet another Russian election, adding six additional years to his already 20 year reign as president. After barring two anti-war politicians from running, Russians were left to choose between Putin and three pro-Putin candidates (Uvarova). According to Russian election officials, Putin received a “record number of votes,” which he hailed as a display of his people’s trust and hope in him (Burrows et al.). 

Despite his attempts to mask how staged and fake his reelection was, Putin is faced with disgust from both Russians and foreigners. Protests spread across multiple continents as Russian nationals living in all parts of the world resisted Putin’s horrific regime. 

During the three-day voting period that spanned March 15 to 17, head of the Russian Electoral Commission, Ella Pamfilova, told Russian news agency TASS that 214 ballot boxes were “irretrievably damaged” due to dye, arson, and other kinds of attacks. Two women were arrested in Moscow for pouring green dye into ballot boxes, and two Yekaterinburg citizens were detained for fifteen days after attempting a similar act. 

In regards to arson, a St. Petersburg woman was arrested after hurling a Molotov cocktail at a sign in a polling station, and an Ivanovo resident set fire to a ballot box (Edwards et al.). Pamfilova reminded Russians that attempting to obstruct the election is punishable with up to five years in prison, but protests have not ceased (Osborn).

“But as much as Putin tries to conceal the absolute pretense of an election that this was, he cannot hide the immense protests happening worldwide.”

Russians were detained for writing certain things on the ballot, though it is unclear what exactly some wrote. OVD-Info, a Russian human rights group that focuses on Russian issues, reported that a young man was arrested in Odintsovo after writing “boycott” on a ballot and attempting to leave the polling station with it. A woman in Moscow was also detained “because of a certain inscription on the ballot” (Edwards et al.). Some voters protested by simply ruining their ballots instead of writing anything at all (Uvarova).

A news outlet article showing the displeasure of Russia’s people with the re-election. (Amena Nouhaili)

Supporters of the late Alexei Navalny (one of Putin’s political opponents who recently died in a brutal Siberian prison) created the “noon against Putin” movement, where they encouraged all Russian voters to overload polling stations by arriving together at noon on Sunday. The protest, endorsed and attended by Navalny’s wife Yulia, encompassed Russian residents as well as Russian immigrants. 

Russian citizens voted at embassies in cities as far away as New York City and Paris, and Yulia herself participated from Berlin (Osborn). She told reporters that she wrote Navalny’s name on her ballot. When asked if she had a message for the Russian leader, Yulia called Putin a “killer” and “gangster” whose one language is violence (Burrows et al.).

During his victory speech, Putin was quick to “thank the citizens of Russia” for “[expressing] the united will of the Russian Federation,” and nearly every part of his speech was centered around Russian unity, teamwork, and “family.” But as much as Putin tries to conceal the absolute pretense of an election that this was, he cannot hide the immense protests happening worldwide. His nearly quarter century long rule of Russia has captured global attention for its cruelty and oppression, and his senseless war on Ukraine has only ruined his image even further. Russians are not “united” for Putin– they are united in protest against him and against his fake election. 

Burrows, Emma, et al. “Russia Election: Putin Declared Winner of Race That Was Never in Doubt.” AP News, 18 Mar. 2024, Accessed 19 Mar. 2024.

Drummond, Michael. “‘Noon Against Putin.’” Sky News, 17 Mar. 2024, Accessed 19 Mar. 2024.

Edwards, Christian, et al. “Russia Opens Criminal Cases After Protesters Pour Dye in Ballot Boxes and Start Fires With Voting Underway.” CNN, 16 Mar. 2024, Accessed 19 Mar. 2024.

Osborn, Andrew. “Russian Official Says ‘scumbags’ Who Vandalise Ballot Boxes Face Jail.” Reuters, 15 Mar. 2024, Accessed 19 Mar. 2024.

Sackur, Leila. “Pouring Dye Into Ballot Boxes and Street Rallies Led by Navalny’s Widow: How Russians Are Protesting the Election.” NBC News, 16 Mar. 2024, Accessed 19 Mar. 2024.

Uvarova, Alyona. “NYC’s Russian Voters Stood in 4-hour Line to Cast Ballots Against Putin – Despite Believing Election Was Rigged.” New York Post, 20 Mar. 2024, Accessed 21 Mar. 2024.

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About the Contributors
Radhika Kulkarni
I read the entire Harry Potter series in two days and all I got was this lousy T-shirt. The Wizarding World was what first sparked my interest in writing, but I have since moved on from fantasy novels to breaking news and current events. Aside from writing, my hobbies include prying squeaky toys from my dogs’ mouths, spending too much money on video games, and tripping on flat surfaces. I am excited to be a part of Denmark Unleashed this year, and even more excited for you to stop looking at my photo!
Amena Nouhaili
Amena Nouhaili, Social Media Editor
I’m reluctantly continuing my third year in the revolving door I call school. I enjoy being a NPC in the halls, observing and judging for fun. When I'm not being a pessimist, I indulge in my weekly murder mystery podcast or bother  my cats. Putting all of that aside, I'm a journalism ethics follower before all else. And I'm excited to contribute to Denmark’s community through the Denmark Unleashed  social media.

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