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Elections in Russia. The Kremlin lures people to polling stations with lotteries, free refreshments and concerts

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Free meals, cultural events and lotteries – this is how the Russian authorities are trying to encourage citizens to participate in the ongoing presidential elections there. For this purpose, among other things, the voting was extended for three days. Other, more conventional measures were also used.

They started today elections presidential w Russia, will last until Sunday. As for that Vladimir Putin will be their winner, there is no doubt. The question is how big the turnout will be – the BBC and Meduza portals agree. To encourage as many citizens as possible to go to the polls, the authorities use various methods. The more conventional ones include pressure on employees of the public sector and large companies loyal to the authorities. Less standard: free meals or competitions.

Depending on the specific administrative unit of the country, the prizes offered in the lottery include sugar packets, hair styling devices and even cars or apartments.

Smartphones, apartments and cars await voters

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In Altai Krai, election participants will be able to win sanctioned iPhone 15s or hair styling devices from a well-known brand. To take part in the lottery, however, they must first post a selfie from the polling station. In turn, in the Sverdlovsk region, two thousand Chinese smartphones, 45 apartments, 20 motorcycles and 100 cars manufactured by the Moskvich plant are waiting for voters – describes “The Moscow Times”. In order to mobilize voters to participate in the elections, local authorities also organize concerts and other cultural events. Some places offer free refreshments.

SEE ALSO: “Reckless and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric.” The White House reacts to Putin's words

Russians went to the polls PAP/EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

The Kremlin's turnout-promoting measures also include extending voting over three days, extending the possibility of voting outside polling stations, and allowing electronic voting in some regions of the country. These methods also serve a second purpose. They weaken public control over the course of elections and the possibility of observing them, says the independent “Novaya Gazeta. Yevropa”. According to its journalists, the last of the mentioned possibilities has been used to falsify results since its first use in Moscow in 2019.

Vladimir Putin and three “opponents”

Independent candidates are not allowed to run in the current elections. To “compete” with Vladimir Putin three politicians were allowed. They are: Nikolai Kharitonov, Vladislav Davankov and Leonid Slutsky. However, none of them has the slightest chance of winning – reminds the website of the BBC's Russian section.

Presidential elections in Russia PAP/EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

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Kharitonov is the candidate of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), Slutsky represents the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), formerly led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Dawankov represents the New People party and is its deputy speaker of parliament. The parties sitting in Russia's parliament are not the opposition – they are loyal to the Kremlin and its policies.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

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