Since 1999, Vladimir Putin has served as Russia’s President, Prime Minister, and, most recently, President yet again. Russian presidents can only serve two consecutive six-year terms, which he served from 1999 to 2012. Putin then fell into the role of Prime Minister to retain a spot in the upper echelons of the country’s political landscape.
Controversy surrounds Putin’s recent election to his fourth term, as roughly 1,300 independent foreigners assumed the roles of election monitors in the name of equal representation of media. The March 18 election welcomed the observers in hopes “to create an international stamp of approval for the vote,” according to news media company The Guardian.
Sputnik, a news source backed by none other than the Russian government, claimed that those thousand-odd observers found the election to be fair. However, news outlets around the globe have since perpetuated stories that those foreign human sentinels experienced countless violations of standard voting process.
Political pressure was allegedly-yet-believably placed on those foreign observers. One of those approximately 1,300 community-minded individuals, David Kankiya, was jailed for five days roughly one month prior to the March 18 election, claiming that “[he] was detained and charged on a false pretext. It’s political pressure.”
Police oppose the accusation of simply arresting him for the purpose of political result, reporting that Mr. Kankiya failed to procure valid identification during a standard driving stop. This all came after police initially asserted to David Kankiya that his vehicle could have been used in commission of carrying out a crime, which Kankiya claims is false.
Even worse, Kankiya’s vehicle’s tires were punctured with blades. During the same incident, two journalists writing for the Kremlin approached him aggressively in an attempt to intimidate Kankiya.
It’s believed that the Russian police force involved in the incident and those two Russian media members had prior knowledge of David Kankiya’s involvement at Golos, an election watchdog that keeps elections around the world in check in the name of global public accountability.