News

Russians Vote for President

An elderly couple vote at a polling station in central Moscow, Russia, March 4, 2012.
An elderly couple vote at a polling station in central Moscow, Russia, March 4, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
James Brooke

Russians are choosing a president for the fifth time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, 20 years ago. Opinion polls indicate Vladimir Putin is considered the leading candidate for a job that could keep him in the Kremlin through 2018.  

In voting from the Pacific to the Baltic, turnout appears strong. Three months ago, Russia’s parliamentary elections were clouded by charges of widespread fraud. To combat fraud this time, more than 200,000 people are volunteering as poll watchers, and one million more are registered to watch the voting on web cameras installed in all of Russia’s polling places.

At a Moscow school, Alexander Pavlovsky, a 37-year-old advertising account manager, explains why he has volunteered:

Planning to stay with the vote count through the night, he says he wants Russia’s next generation to only know clean and democratic elections.

Photo Gallery

Judging by the steady flow of voters, many in fur coats and hats, it appears that, after a winter of controversy over the parliamentary elections, turnout for the presidential contest is strong.

Maria Tarasova, a history teacher at the school, presides over the local voting committee. She says three months of national furor over fraud accusations brought two changes to her local voting station.

She says there are more citizen observers and there are two web cameras. Anyone with an Internet connection can watch the voting process live.

About one-half of Russian adults now use the Internet, a new factor in this election.

Vitaly Chobanu, an Internet user and first time voter, said he was voting for the new face in the five-candidate presidential race - Mikhail Prokhorov.

He says he likes Prokhorov’s pro-business, pro-democracy stance.

Support for Prokhorov also came from Olga Mikhailova. Dressed in a fur coat, she runs a small business that sells fur coats.

She says she liked Putin, but says running a small business has become increasingly difficult. She says she hopes that Prokhorov, a businessman, “will change something because it feels like we're being strangled.”

But two middle aged men coming quickly out of the polling station said they voted for Putin, who served two terms as president before becoming prime minister.

Why? Asks one. For stability.

Lyudmila Elbakri, a retired economist, lingers to talk.

She says she lived through the stagnation years of the 1970s under long ruling Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

She says she voted for Prokhorov. At age 75, she said Russia should not stop, it needs changes.

If Putin wins today’s vote, he will begin a six-year term in May. After that, he would be eligible to run for a second six-year term, a move that would put him at the top of Russian politics for a quarter-century.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

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

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs