The Presidential Elections Begin in Russia

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Amid a three-day voting period for Russia's presidential elections, Vladimir Putin stands poised to secure a fifth term in office, despite growing international concern over the legitimacy of the process. The elections held not only within Russia but also in the occupied territories of Ukraine, have sparked a wave of criticism and accusations from neighboring countries.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement yesterday, urging the global community to reject the outcome of the Russian elections. Despite this, Putin emphasized in a televised address that participation in the elections is a patriotic duty, particularly for those in conflict-ridden regions who have previously voted for unity with Russia.

However, allegations of foul play extend beyond Ukraine. Moldovan authorities have accused Russia of electoral interference, claiming that ballots were printed and polling stations established within the breakaway Transnistrian Republic. This move, according to Chisinau, breaches a bilateral agreement stipulating that voting should exclusively occur within the Russian embassy. The accusation adds to existing tensions between Moldova and Russia, further complicating diplomatic relations.

As reported by Reuters, the Russian presidential election is scheduled for March 15-17, with results expected shortly afterward and the winner inaugurated in May. Voting will extend to what Russia considers its new territories, parts of Ukraine under Russian control.

Ukraine vows to remove all Russian soldiers from these annexed areas. For the first time, a remote online voting system will be available.

Approximately 112.3 million eligible voters reside in Russia, with an additional 1.9 million abroad and 12,000 in Baikonur,...

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