Russians Expect Putin to Win, No Change in Government

Russian election officials hold an election poster with portraits of the presidential candidates, Feb. 7, 2012.
Russian election officials hold an election poster with portraits of the presidential candidates, Feb. 7, 2012.

Russians are expected to elect Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to a historic third term as president on Sunday.  Many Muscovites doubt the country will change after Putin returns to the presidency.

Voting has already begun in some regions of Russia as Muscovites contemplate for whom they will cast their ballots in Sunday's presidential election.  There are four opposition candidates running against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, although many believe they don’t stand a chance against the authoritarian leader who was president from 2000 to 2008.

And, according to the last independent poll before the elections, conducted by the Levada Center,  Putin is expected to win with 62 to 66 percent of the vote, avoiding an embarrassing runoff.

Muscovite Lusine, who preferred not to give her last name, says she knows Mr. Putin will win and that when he does, nothing will really be different here in Russia.

"I don't expect anything very significant or any changes in the country as I think Mr. Putin will win, she says, adding that change will only happen if Mr. Putin decides things need to change," said Lusine.

Recent polls show that 80 percent of Russians believe that Putin will return to the presidency and 57 percent still believe he is the nation’s leader even though Dmitry Medvedev is officially president.

Alexei, who also didn’t want to use his last name, says this is a common view among Russians.

"I am not a pessimist or an optimist, "he said. " I am a realist and I am not expecting any serious changes."

On the other hand, Putin has faced unprecedented protests against his ruling United Russia party and his bid to return to the presidency.

Hundreds of thousands of Russians have taken to the streets across the country since United Russia won the country’s parliamentary elections in December.  Demonstrators claim the party won by ballot stuffing and vote rigging, charges United Russia vehemently denies.

As a result, Muscovite Lyubov says she thinks that after Putin is elected there will be mass demonstrations against his government.

"I think after the elections there will be a financial and political crisis, and a crisis in our government," she said.

If Putin is elected president again, he will be the longest-serving Kremlin leader since Soviet Communist Party chief Leonid Brezhnev.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs