Putin wins record victory, leaves the West frustrated
Published: Mar 18, 2024 05:59 PM
Vladimir Putin. Photo:AFP

Vladimir Putin. Photo:AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin won the latest election, which means he will remain in power until at least 2030. Many Western media outlets claimed that this is a "nightmare" for the West.

According to the Russian Central Election Commission, Putin leads with 87.32 percent of the vote after 99.43 percent of ballots were counted as of Monday, which is a record victory in Russian elections. This election was held more than two years after the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out. Currently, Russia has a clear advantage in military forces and firepower, and the Ukrainian army faces difficulties on all fronts. An article entitled "In this Ukrainian village, almost no men are left" was published by the Washington Post on March 16, pointing out that "people are being caught like dogs on the street." Ukraine is facing serious difficulties with a need for more soldiers, and some people even demand that the police be sent to the front line.

Putin has demonstrated his strong ability to control the situation over the past two years. The "special military operation" did not end as quickly as Moscow planned, but the comprehensive sanctions imposed by the US and the West on Russia did not crush Russia as they had hoped. Their military aid supported the fight in Kiev, but failed to create the expected advantage on the Ukrainian battlefield. Russia not only shows a powerful military capability, but also maintains stability in the economy and overall unity in society, without expanding opposition forces. Data from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Levada Center, Russia's independent polling organization, show that around half of Russians "strongly support" the war with Ukraine, and 28 percent "somewhat support" the war.

Russia has abundant food, energy and minerals. The West estimates that Russia's artillery shell production capacity is about three times that of the US and Europe. Despite the support of the entire West, Ukraine is still at a disadvantage, lacking in artillery and ammunition. In addition, Russia is a nuclear power with extremely strong strategic deterrence.

French President Emmanuel Macron recently stated multiple times that he could not rule out the deployment of NATO ground troops in Ukraine in the future. In response, Putin stated on Sunday that doing so would be "one step away from a full-scale World War Three." Macron's stance has faced open questioning and opposition from countries like the US, UK and Germany, with only Finland expressing support.

As long as Putin remains in power, Western countries as a whole will be unable to ease relations with Russia. Donald Trump has stated that once in office, he would seek to end the Ukraine war. However, Western animosity toward Russia and Putin runs too deep. Issues such as the Ukraine crisis, Baltic and Central European hostility toward Russia, and the Syria crisis remain unresolved, with the West unable to unify its stance to address them.

Western media heavily promoted calls from some supporters of late opposition leader Alexei Navalny to vote against Putin on Sunday at noon, but those voices were too few. 

Regarding China-Russia relations, after his election victory, Putin described it as a "stabilizing factor" in international relations. On Taiwan question, he stated, Taiwan island is "without any doubt an integral part" of the People's Republic of China.

Chinese people should welcome and support Putin's reelection, applaud Russia's firm stance against the West, and strongly advocate for the continuation of the strategic partnership between China and Russia. We should also support China in making efforts to balance its relationship with the West regarding the Ukraine issue and maintaining overall strategic stability. This should be the mainstream perspective and framework of Chinese people's understanding of the outside world.

The author is a Chinese media professional. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn