Autocrats such as Vladimir Putin use elections strategically to demonstrate their capability to secure the necessary votes. This primarily benefits the regime’s inner circle and rent-seeking elites who rely on Putin’s presidency for their wealth.

Although a notable proportion of the Russian population regards the election and Putin’s leadership as legitimate, their support for Russia’s military actions in Ukraine is waning. Only a slim majority backs the continuation of the conflict.

Despite the oppressive political environment, opposition initiatives such as “Noon against Putin” manifest ongoing resistance. These actions were reflected in vote tallies abroad, where support for Putin was dramatically lower than in Russia.

The post-election period is likely to see the persistence of Russia’s current domestic and foreign policies, with the potential for increased societal and economic tensions. The declining support for the war could further complicate the regime’s efforts to maintain a unified front. This could potentially impact Russia’s global standing and internal stability.

Senior Research Fellow