April 22, 2015 02:02 UTC

In the News

After Big Protests, Russians Vote for President

Russian election officials hold an election poster showing the candidates.
Russian election officials hold an election poster showing the candidates.


Correction attached

Download this story as a PDF

This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

Russians vote for a new president Sunday, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to win. There are five candidates on the ballot. The others include Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov and billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov.

Mr. Putin was president from two thousand to two thousand eight. By law, Russian presidents cannot serve more than two terms in a row.

There were reports of widespread cheating in the elections for parliament, the Duma, last year. Those claims led to the largest street demonstrations in the country since the Soviet Union collapsed twenty years ago. Protesters say Mr. Putin controls Russia through a heavily controlled political system and corruption.

Angela Stent is a Russia expert at Georgetown University in Washington. She was not surprised that the Prime Minister has blamed the United States in connection with the unrest.

ANGELA STENT: “He has really resorted to a tactic that, of course, has been used since he became president in two thousand -- and that is to invoke the United States [as the] enemy, to blame the United States for a lot of Russian problems. And as you saw, in the Duma elections, he then blamed Hillary Clinton, Secretary Clinton, for supporting the opposition and for trying to undermine Russian stability.”

President Obama has made better relations with Russia an important part of his foreign policy. His dealings with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev led to a major arms-control agreement known as New START. It also led to increased cooperation on issues like Afghanistan, Iran and Libya.

But Russia joined with China in vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria.

Sasha -- a Russian in his twenties who did not want to use his last name -- says he is tired of Mr. Putin. He says he is voting for Mr. Prokhorov, the co-owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team. Mr. Putin has already shown all that he can do, Sasha says, and he has enough money.

But Anya -- who did not want to use her last name either -- says she is looking forward to Mr. Putin returning to the presidency. She says he helped bring Russia out of economic collapse in the late nineteen nineties.

Another Russian, Natasha, says she is not even going her to vote because she knows the ruling United Russia party will cheat and Mr. Putin will win. She says she does not think the elections will be clean unless there are cameras in the voting stations, as Mr. Putin has promised.

In the December elections, United Russia won the most seats. After criticism of the vote, Prime Minister Putin announced a one-half-billion-dollar program to place two Web cameras at each voting center. Russia has nearly one hundred thousand polling stations.

The last public-opinion survey before the election by an independent group suggested that Mr. Putin will win with sixty-two to sixty-six percent. In two thousand four he was re-elected with seventy-one percent of the vote.

Mr. Medvedev is expected to become prime minister in a new government.

A win on Sunday will make Mr. Putin the longest-serving leader in Moscow since Josef Stalin ruled the Soviet Union.

Two hundred thousand Russians have volunteered to watch for cheating on Sunday. A group called Citizen Observer has been training volunteers.  And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Bob Doughty.

___

Contributing: James Brooke, Jessica Golloher and Andre de Nesnera

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Mikhail Prokhorov's first name as Sergei.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 4
    Next 
by: TienLenTien
04/14/2012 2:08 PM
Mr.Putin won greatly.


by: Loc
03/10/2012 8:26 AM
Compared to the old-day Soviet Union where every "election" was one-man band, Russian election now is a big step toward true demoncracy.


by: tuncay
03/09/2012 7:23 AM
this discussion is very informative about Russia and Mr. Putin,,Thanks eveybody.


by: Sasha
03/08/2012 7:58 AM
His name is Michaul (like Michael) Prokhorov, not Sergey...


by: furz
03/07/2012 4:31 PM
Even Putin is a an eligible president for Russia, but I think it's better to let the the opportunity for other Rassian.Russia is full of intellectuals, it's unfair to assault the leadership. thanks VOA team


by: mrtran
03/06/2012 10:22 AM
Mr Putin is a excellent president, i live and study in Moscow, i allways believe from him.


by: JEWAER
03/06/2012 9:47 AM
support Mr. Putin


by: Slava
03/06/2012 3:27 AM
Dear Kazakhstan, but VOA is really permissive, it brings articles and comments from diverse angles of view. It is very useful and interesting..


by: tthoong
03/05/2012 11:00 AM
Mr.Putin is a greatest president in Russia


by: John Yi
03/05/2012 12:51 AM
This is jusst the voice of American, but not the voice of Russia. As we know US has most world-affective media like VOA and CNN and TIME, but please take care, not abuse use your voice rights. We like VOA, but please be VOA, not the voice of US representer.

Comments page of 4
    Next 

Learn with The News

  • Mohammed Ali Malek, one of the survivors of the boat that overturned off the coasts of Libya Saturday, waits to disembark from Italian Coast Guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, at Catania Harbor, Italy, April 20, 2015.

    Audio Captain Blamed for Mediterranean Migrant Deaths

    Officials blame the Tunisian captain of a fishing boat for causing the deaths of hundreds of migrants. Also in the news, South Africa will deploy soldiers to prevent attacks on foreigners; Egypt’s Morsi sentenced to 20 years in jail; Eritrea and North Korea named the world's most-censored countries. More

  • Audio Pirate Attacks Increase in Southeast Asia

    Sea pirate attacks are increasing again, especially off the coasts of Indonesia and Vietnam. Pirate attacks had decreased in recent years. But, a new report finds sea robberies and hijackings rose 10 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2014. More

  • Earth and Moon

    Audio Earth Day 2015: Biking, Hiking, Planting Trees

    About 20 million people around the world were mobilized on the first Earth Day in 1970. This year, more than one billion people are planning to take action to protect the planet. The events will be large and small. There will be community tree plantings, coastal cleanups and many outdoor parties. More

  • Joe Public Johannesburg office

    Audio African Advertising Agencies Cashing In

    Western advertising and public relations agencies are increasingly joining with African advertising companies. They are working together to attract international businesses that want to advertise products or services in Africa. Africa has been considered the last frontier for consumer markets. More

  • Audio US, Philippines Open Joint Military Exercises

    The training operation is bigger and more complex this year. Military officials from both countries say the exercises do not target any one country. A US general says the effort involves bringing land and sea forces together for training on amphibious landings, 'live fire' drills and other skills. More

Featured Stories

  • Fans listen to David Guetta at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTR4X3P8

    Audio One Billion Young People Risk Hearing Loss From Loud Music

    One billion teenagers and young adults around the world risk losing their hearing by listening to loud music. This is according to the World Health Organization. The U.N. agency is asking young people to turn down the volume to prevent losing their hearing. More

  • Audio Tuberculosis Found in 18th Century Bodies

    TB mostly affects poor people and those infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. But the opposite was true 2 ½ centuries ago, when the disease infected wealthy Europeans. Researchers say new findings could change how TB is treated today. More

  • Audio Early American Railroads Shape Modern Language

    This week, we look at some train and railroad expressions commonly used in American English. This is only part one. There are many idioms and expressions relating to trains. So ... all aboard! Make sure you have your ticket because this train is leaving the station! More

  • Everyday Grammar - Gerunds and Infinitives

    Audio Everyday Grammar: Gerunds and Infinitives

    English learners have difficulty with gerunds and infinitives. A gerund is the –ing form of a verb that functions the same as a noun. For example, “Running is fun.” In this sentence, “running” is the gerund. It acts just like a noun. More

  • Autism book

    Video Mother, Son, Co-Write Children’s Book on Autism

    ‘If You Were Me’ tells the story of 18-year-old Burnie Rollinson’s story. He was diagnosed with Asperger's at age three. He has few friends but he enjoys a full and productive life. He and his mother, Anita Rollinson, created their book together. She wrote the words and Burnie drew the pictures. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs