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‘It was not unpredictable’ – While House condemns Putin’s sham election victory

by Chris York March 18, 2024 11:09 PM 2 min read
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during a press conference at the White House on Nov. 13, 2023. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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There was “nothing free or fair” about Vladimir Putin’s presidential election victory, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on March 18, highlighting the extreme lengths the Kremlin went to to get the result it needed.

Speaking at a press briefing at the White House, Sullivan said the Russian president “closed the political space, imprisoned political opponents and some of his political opponents died tragically.”

“Therefore, there was nothing free or fair about these elections,” he added.

Putin holds rally on Red Square following elections, promises to continue the war
Putin took the stage in the company of his “rivals,” Kremlin-friendly lawmakers Vladislav Davankov, Nikolai Kharitonov, and Leonid Slutsky, who ran against Putin in the election. All three praised Putin and offered their support.

On March 17, Putin won a fifth term as Russian president with a landslide vote share of 87%, in an election in which the result was never really in doubt.

Putin was up against three other contenders who all stood no realistic chance of winning.

Any credible political rivals such as Boris Nadezhdin were prevented from standing or, in the case of Alexei Navalny, imprisoned before dying while in detention.

Sullivan portrayed an air of business as usual, saying: “The reality is that President Putin is the president of Russia, and we've had to deal with that reality throughout the war in Ukraine, during other aggressions by Russia, during other moves that are against U.S. national interests that we've seen from this president of the Russian Federation.”

“And we continued to deal with them, but that reality does not mean that this election was not something that met any benchmark of being free or fair.”

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were forced to take part in "elections" at gunpoint — in Crimea, as well as regions annexed in 2022, including parts of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts.

A few hours before Sullivan spoke, Putin held a rally on the Red Square marking his victory and the illegal ten-year occupation of Crimea.

Putin took the stage in the company of his rivals, Kremlin-friendly lawmakers, Vladislav Davankov, Nikolai Kharitonov and Leonid Slutsky, who ran against Putin in the election.

All three praised Putin and offered their support.

Putin ‘wins’ rigged Russian election; Ukrainians in occupied territories vote at gunpoint
Russian authorities on March 15-17 held a presidential election in two countries – Russia and the regions of Ukraine brutally occupied by the Kremlin. The voting was neither free nor fair, with the result known in advance. In the occupied areas, voting was held illegally at gunpoint. In Russia, th…
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