Professor Regina Smyth contributes to The Conversation on Russia's July 2020 election on how official rigged the election to create the illusion that President Vladimir Putin remains a popular and powerful leader after 20 years in office.
In reality, he increasingly relies on manipulation and state repression to maintain his presidency. Most Russians know that, and the world is catching up.
At the center of the changes were new rules to allow Putin to evade term limits and serve two additional terms, extending his tenure until 2036. According to official results, Putin’s regime secured an astounding victory, winning 78% support for the constitutional reform, with 64% turnout. The Kremlin hailed the national vote as confirmation of popular trust in Putin.