Though the result of the election in Russia was never in doubt, the size of Putin's victory on a larger turnout than 2012 was not anticipated by many commentators — people who had been predicting that voter apathy would be the main story of this election, reflected in a lower turnout than last time.
The result and turnout can credibly be considered a response to the demonization of the Russian leader and his government, rolled out in London and the West in response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, on March 4. It leaves in tatters the attempt to draw any meaningful distinction between Russia's people and their government under Putin's leadership.
Now, as with former US President Franklin D Roosevelt in the 1930s and 1940s, Putin enters a fourth term in office. And likewise with FDR, a man widely regarded as one of America's greatest ever presidents, Putin's first term began at a time of severe economic crisis and extremism in a country that was going through its very own Great Depression in the post-Soviet period. And as with FDR, also — who had to deal with the existential threat to US security posed by the rise of fascism in Italy, Germany and Japan — Putin has had to deal with the existential threat to Russia's security posed by the eastward expansion of NATO in his time.
On this episode, George Galloway analyzes the significance and impact and story of Putin's election victory, as well as an offering his take on the ongoing controversy arising from the Sergei Skripal case in the UK.
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