A pro-Kremlin narrative about Russian superiority, in this case, about the superiority of Russia's electoral system.
Russia has been widely accused of having little political plurality. One of the most valuable weapons in the Kremlin's arsenal is its power to control who can run - and indirectly guiding their campaign. Moscow “has tried to create the semblance of competition”, says The Times, allowing other candidates to take part, whilst the more vocal anti-Putin voices are quickly pushed out of the race.
In 2015, politician Boris Nemtsov, a prominent critic of Putin’s government, was assassinated in Moscow and another anti-corruption campaigner and Putin critic, Alexei Navalny, has been barred from running for the president. Navalny was convicted of embezzlement in a Russian court, meaning he couldn't run for election, although he denied the charges and said they were politically motivated before he suffered an attempted assignation attempt in August 2020.
“Choice without real competition, as we have seen here, is not a real choice,” said Michael Link, leader of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) group of short-term observers.
The Russian election system all but guarantees that Putin wins not only through controlled opposition but also as the result of fraudulent ballot set-ups, according to critics.
Measurable interference on polling day is difficult to gauge, but during the regional elections on September 2017, Golos, Russia’s only independent watchdog, said they received reports of voting problems in 55 regions nationwide.
Predictably, the Russian government denies the electoral rigging allegations, which have dogged it for years - most notably in 2011, when people took to the streets to protest the “flawed” results in that year’s legislative elections. The Central Election Commission of Russia later said that only 11.5% of official reports of fraud could be confirmed as true. However, the European Court of Human Rights did not agree, ruling that the 2011 votes were “unfair” and “compromised”.
This article also had another claim that the US is living a “colour revolution”