Western Governments Express Outrage Over Putin’s Election Win

Vladmir Putin secured a landslide electoral victory on March 18, ensuring his tenure as Russian Premier will continue for six more years. Longstanding Russian allies such as North Korea, China, and India were quick to congratulate him on the win. Western powers, by contrast, have condemned the election as undemocratic and unfair.

The gulf between these reactions reflects the division between two major geopolitical spheres of influence, which have coalesced since the beginning of the War in Ukraine in February, 2022.

EU officials in Brussels dismissed the election results, characterizing the entire affair as a sham where the Russian people had no voice, as evidenced by the imprisonment and death of Alexi Nalvani, a noted critic and political rival of Putin. Particularly harsh words came from Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s Foreign Minister, who said it was an “election without a choice.” Stephane Sejourne of France characterized it as a “special election operation,” parodying Moscow’s euphemism for the Ukraine War as a “special military operation.”


On the other hand, Chinese President Xi Jinping had warm words for Putin, vowing continued allegiance to the official partnership brokered by the two leaders shortly before the invasion of Ukraine. Prime Minister Modi of India expressed confidence in Putin’s leadership, avowing his intention to strengthen India’s longstanding “privileged strategic partnership” with Russia. The two nations, along with Russia, are key players in the BRICS organization, which aims to create a new economic pole in geostrategic relations, one that is independent of the US economy.

Other support for Russia came from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (whom the Western powers have accued of supplying Russia with weapons), and Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Opinion in Africa, a major zone of contention between the United States and the BRICS nations, has focused more on the local implications of Putin’s re-election, with newspapers noting the importance of Putin’s win to the current regimes in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso.