Vladimir Putin, an intelligence officer-turned politician is now overseeing the Russian Republic for over 22 years, in the capacity of the President and Prime Minister, in almost 5 different terms. His practices to seize power have been exceedingly controversial, right from its early days. In 2007, International Observations questioned the fairness of the elections in the state. Despite switching in between his roles, Putin has exerted power in Russia by seeking help from constitutional loopholes and silencing his opposition using forces of imprisonment, treason, and even political assassinations.
Sergei Yushenkov who hailed from the army was shot outside his home after attempting to present evidence regarding bombing allegedly done by Putin in 2003, Boris Berezovsky, considered to be instrumental in Putin's rise was poisoned to death in 2009 after falling out and fleeing to the UK. Anna Politkovskaya, a reporter was shot at point-blank range due to her book, "Putin's Russia", in 2006. Sergei Magnitsky investigating a tax fraud case was beaten and later killed under police custody, while a human rights lawyer Markelov was shot for taking up a case against the Russian military. Opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov was assassinated days after criticizing Putin's government over a motivated intervention in Ukraine. The most recent killings of Nikolai Glushkov who openly criticized Vladimir Putin after seeking political asylum in London made strong headlines in 2018.
The biggest opposition face in Russia today, Alexei Navalny has managed to some attention and limelight, especially after a public movement in 2011. In 2016, Russia silently protested the elections, and only 46% people recorded their vote. For those who did, elected 'Putin' and his other half, irregularities and controversies.
In 2018, Putin's only recognized opposition leader was barred from running. The face representing the opposition today was almost eliminated on numerous occasions. He was nearly killed by a nerve agent gas attack, Novichok which Russia developed during cold war just months before he was detained and denied entry to Russia in a flight from Berlin, because of "technical reasons". It was diverted from Vnukovo airport to Sheremetyevo airport, causing an uninvited restlessness in the passengers. He underwent a hunger strike after being thrown into jail, for violating his parole while he was in a coma, only preventing himself from being poisoned yet again.
Russian's across all timezones have turned out in huge numbers, demonstrating through all kinds of means that they are undergoing a visible transition. Democracy is long dead in there, protestors, activists are vehemently silenced using force by the authoritative police. Navalny already risks organ failures, and the worst part is, no one believes any of his medical treatment, and believe that he is gradually murdered by the regime of Russia.
In the recently concluded election in Russia, results where were more or less pre-ordained, App stores restricted Russians to download applications of the opposition parties. Kremlin pressurized these software companies to term these apps as 'extremist.' With COVID-19's continual rise, online campaigning could have been a constructive tool to reach more people.
Over the days of polling, there were regular criticisms regarding ballot stuffing, frauds, unregulated online electronic voting. No representation was brought in by the Organisation for Security and co-operation in Europe (OSCE) due to restrictions imposed by authorities in the country. People no longer see a point in voting.
An evidently visible dictatorship exists in the world today, which not only destabilize elections of its own but also of the world. Political interests and domination have long existed and have troubled civilians in and out. It's time the world stands together against the mighty Russia and de-poison it, which is bringing down the spirits and peace in its citizens.