🇷🇺 Russia elections: President Putin for life? | UpFront

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On March 18, Russians will vote to decide who will be their next president, with every indication that Vladimir Putin will win his fourth term.

“It is not difficult to win an election when your opponents are not actually on the ballot,” says Vladimir Kara-Murza, a leading Russian opposition figure and activist, based in Washington.

“Russian authorities have deliberately disenfranchised [opposition leader Alexei Navalny] with a politically motivated court conviction,” says Kara-Murza. Without Navalny and Boris Nemtsov, another key opposition figure who was murdered in 2015, Putin is now running effectively unopposed.

But some, such as Russian-American journalist Vladimir Pozner, believe Putin’s popularity at home cannot be ignored. “Putin has a very high percentage of support,” says Pozner. “And it’s not because people are stupid.”

In Russia’s highly-controlled media environment, dissenting voices have been suppressed, however Yevgenia Albats of The New Times, a Moscow-based magazine, says there is some freedom to criticise Putin.

“Russia is not a totalitarian state,” says Albats. “They allow for some opposition voices to exist.”

“Each week, on Monday and on Tuesday, I go out on Echo of Moscow [a national radio station] with an audience all across Russia and I say precisely what I consider right to say.”

Editor’s note: Vladimir Pozner left during the interview, choosing not to further engage in the debate.

In this week’s UpFront, we ask 28-year veteran of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, John Sipher, about alleged Russian meddling in US elections, possible Trump collusion, and the CIA’s own record of foreign interference.

And in the Arena, we debate the political climate within Russia, as questions about democracy and President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power resurface ahead of March’s presidential election.

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Issak ahadu says:

I am so sure this video will have more dislikes than likes…then say the Kremlin is manipulating the world…simply Putin is popular not only in russia

Juan Carlos Vilca Noriega says:

Make it so!

strangepasserby says:

Look who's talking about democracy..

ForAmerican says:

Putin for his lifetime? I can take that. But, I cannot take Trump for the lifetime. That is really scary.

John Galt says:

Al Jazeera is a typical propaganda bullhorn like CNN and BBC that push the same false narratives about Russia or any country that doesn't dance to the tune of Washington. Even Pozner, who has always been critical of Putin, couldn't stand this obscenely biased drivel.

madhujya chakravorty says:

when will qatar be democratic

Judas says:

Thats because Putin is the only acceptable man. You want what, more progressiveness like this so called Englishman what a disgrace.

dsfsdf says:

80% russians hate Europe, USA and rest world. And dream bobm all of you.Ashhhaaaaa western propoganda. 10iq trash. 150 $ . That's how much have 90 russians in month. 24/7 Putin on tv and hate all except Russia.

Praveen Ravula says:

we always only talk about russia democracy , but where is democracy ..no country has democracy ..its all corporates ruling the world , voting is not democracy ,when people's wishes dominates the policy ,then its democracy and it does not happen anywhere

trenchdirt says:

what the 3 guests have in common hhhm think
if you can guess it you win the jewciest juice

rxweasley says:

You hate seeing us strong, we're your friends only when we're weak. Russian people chose Putin, you might as well go on and tell Russian people they're idiots and can't choose for themselves. Putin is the best thing that happened to Russia, he brought our country up from its knees and that's why USA and Europe hate Russia. So much respect to Pozner, thank you.

Александр Сотников says:

It is ridiculous to hear democracy lecture on the channel which is owned by Emir of Qatar. It the same as RT's opinion about the West countries.

John Smith says:

I hope Putin stays Russia's president for life.. It's the best way to keep Russia a second class nation.

Truth Teller says:

Before Putin there was anarchy, he is restoring Russian prosperity and security. The west would like to see Russia go the way of Iraq and Libya.

Truth Teller says:

Let's hope that Putin stays as President for Live and lives to 150. Democracy means people like Trump can get into power, what the Russians have is way better, same as China who will make their leader hold office forever too.

SG45 cal says:

Vladimir Putin.. Russia's Teflon Don.

Sissy Austria says:

Danke für die Pausen und wehre nett wenn Lebensmittel für die Kinder und Babynahrung und Wasser .Danke sie haben doch einHerz.

misha 2.0 says:

Russian ppl and ppl around the world u derstand Putin needs to be president. Why? Russia is a cornerstone of peace around the world. Of not for him imagine what the world would be like? Imagine what NATO or US would be doin around the world after the countries they already ruined. Democracy? Screw your democracy. I live in US and this place is a mess. School shootings monthly. Street shootings backwards country. Immoral. Its a mess. The govt is a mob. People suffer. As far as Putin goes…the WORLD needs this.

DeepBlue says:

Pootin is trash

Blaz Blaz says:

Why on earth Al-Jazeera didn't kick this Islamic terrorist Mehdi Hassan out of TV programm allready ? Didn't Saudi Arabia made enough damage to Qatar allready ?

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