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'Siberia is indeed a land of superlatives: bigger than Europe and the US combined, with the biggest gas reserves in the world'

Siberia votes with rest of Russia for stability and six more years of Vladimir Putin

By The Siberian Times reporter
19 March 2018

Colourful election as bears, tigers and half-naked gymnasts vote in record-breaking result.

Vladimir Putin won his best result in four campaigns for the Kremlin.

Opposition calls for a boycott of the presidential election failed to materialise as incumbent Vladimir Putin won his best result in four campaigns for the Kremlin. 

As results surged in ahead of the rest of the country from Far East regions and Siberia it was clear that he has easily secured a new term in the Kremlin. 

He achieved some stunning statistics in some regions, above the national average.

In Chukotka, where there were polling station queues, he scored 82%.

In four villages here there was 100% turnout. 

Bear in Severobaikalsk

Bear came to vote in Severobaikalsk

In Tuva he hit 92%, and Kemerovo 85%. 

Putin - who has spent more time in Siberia than any serving Russian leader in history - was backed by 86% in Yamalo-Nenets.

In contrast, several regions voted less enthusiastically for the incumbent - notably Yakutia (Sakha Republic) and Altai region where he picked up 64%.

In Khabarovsk region Putin won 65%,  Primorsky region 65% and Sakhalin 66%.

His nearest rival was Communist Party candidate  Pavel Grudinin who nationwide scored 12%, who afterwards called it 'the dirtiest ever” campaign in the post-USSR. 

Barnaul cold swimmers

Barnaul cold swimmers

Barnaul cold swimmers

In Barnaul, there was an impressive near-naked gymnastics display in the snow outside one polling station, arranged by the local cold swimmers team. 

Ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky took around 6 %, former reality TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak came in fourth place on 1.5%.

She acknowledged Putin ‘enjoys the majority of support, secured by various methods’, and complained of ‘the arrests of our supporters in various cities, as well as attempts at intimidating us’.

Blatant examples of stuffing of ballot boxes were highlighted by monitoring groups even as the poll was underway. 

There were also complaints of undue pressure exerted on some Russians to go to the polls and vote. 

Vladimir Putin said in a rally close to the Kremlin that the result showed ‘the confidence and hope’ of the Russian people. 

Omsk voter

Tigers voting

Fan of the hockey team Sibir

Voters in costumes, pictured in Omsk, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk

'Our thoughts will turn to the future of our great country and the future of our children,’ he told supporters.

Opposition anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny - seen by many as Putin’s most potent challengers - had been banned from the ballot paper by the election commission due to a previous conviction which he says was politically-motived. 

His calls for a boycott appear to have flopped.

Pacific fleet

Khabarovsk police

Soldiers in Severobaikalsk

Voters from Pacific Naval Fleet, Khabarovsk police and Severobaikalsk military unit. 

Overall, more than 55 million Russians voted in the election and Putin won with his highest-ever share of the vote despite international criticism of his policies, and most recently the diplomat rift with the United Kingdom over the nerve agent poisoning of a former GRU spy and his daughter in England. 

The violations at polling stations across the country, including some cases in eastern parts of the country,  were not seen by analysts as impacting on the scale of the Putin landslide. 

His share of the vote was around 77% compared with 53% in 2000, 71% in 2004, and 64% in 2012. 




Many Siberians came to the voting stations by snowmobiles, as spring is still not completely here. 

In Siberia there were colourful moments as a man dressed as a bear voted in the Buddhist region of Buryatia.

Another man turned up on horseback wearing national costume to vote. 

In Barnaul, there was an impressive near-naked gymnastics display in the snow outside one polling station, arranged by the local cold swimmers team. 

Elsewhere some Siberian tigers turned up to cast their ballots.

Comments (9)

Long live the Czar.
James, Australia
23/03/2018 17:22
Ed, Russia,

God, I must have hit your button & your rambling response proves to me that Mr Putin has cast his magic spell on you for all eternity. Also, I don't think the Russian people picked you to speak for all of them when you imply "WE" no longer etc & etc.

PS. Regards the ordinary Russian people I just have great admiration for them. And hopefully I will visit beautiful Siberia sooner - rather than later. But "shh" don't tell your boss when I'm there.

Jaker, Dundalk
23/03/2018 05:18
The "election" if you for some reason want to call it that, was just for show. The only possible challenger for Putin, Alexei Navalny was not allowed to be on the ballot. Russia is a for a lack of a better word a dictatorship, run by Putin and his friends. The russian people need to wake up. The only way change is going to be ever possible is if the people rise against Putin or wait another 20 years when Putin dies.
John Smith, Helsinki / Finland
22/03/2018 17:49
Same folks posting here as they do on hundreds of US websites comments section ,What a free country LOL See an example robert gilchrist, valdosta/ga. USA LOL LOL LOL A troll for the ages
Yobik Robik, Bulgaria
22/03/2018 15:37
Many of us here in the U.S. admire Putin and can't stand what is going on in our Country. We have become a Joke, and Western Europe is rapidly failing. Thank God for Putin and the Russian People. (as well as the former Eastern Block Countries) You may have your differences but at least you take care of your own and don't sell out your people and culture. If our government (and Western Europe) criticizes you then you know you are doing something right.
robert gilchrist, valdosta/ga. USA
22/03/2018 01:09
Jaker it's your fantasy. Dont't watch CNN/BBC brainwashing channes. Bulk electorate Navalniy is schoolchildren.

Our short-sighted sanctions, the heartless humiliation of our athletes (including the disabled), their ostentatious spit on basic liberal values like the presumption of innocence (while you hypocritically neighbor with the forcible imposition of ultra-liberal ideas in your own countries), your mass hysterics a healthy person only a sigh of relief that he lives in Russia, and not in Hollywood, his post-election mess - that in the States, that in Germany, that in the Brexit zone, his harassment of the RT channel, to you can not forgive that he took advantage of your freedom of speech and showed the whole world that it is impossible to use it, that this freedom is not for profit, but for beauty it is invented like some crystal mop - it glitters from afar, but to clean your stables is not good enough - by all these injustices and cruelties, inquisitorial hypocrisy and lies, you forced us to stop respecting you.

We no longer want to live like you. For fifty years - secretly and explicitly - we wanted to live like you, but do not want to.

We no longer respect you. And everyone you support from us. And at the same time those who support you. Hence the desired five percent of the opposition.

In the meantime, you have rallied us around your enemy. As soon as they declared him an enemy, they immediately rallied us.

Previously, he was just our president and it could be changed. And now he is our leader. And we will not give it a change. And you did it yourself.

This you opposed to us patriotism to liberalism. Although in general they should not be mutually exclusive concepts. You did it so that in this false dilemma we chose

It's now long and you can not do anything!
ED, Russia
21/03/2018 14:20
Well...why wouldn't Vladimir have won? seeing there was no real opposition. The only real opposition Alexei Navalney, was barred as usual because he's the one & only person who could rock Putin's boat. And as for Sobchak, well she was a servant for Putin...not an opponent. This election from all neutral sources reports was that it was another total ridiculous exercise in non democracy. Putin had all the iffy pro media (not the Siberian Times, mind ) to himself - to spout his phony message...of "Trust in me" I am the "Stable" one. Give me a break!

This election was like Trump's win in 2016 in US a "Fake" which goes to show that Trump & Putin are proper clones of each-other. Thankfully, the American people can still through Congress get rid of Trump through impeachment. Robert Mueller 111 is getting real close to the truth about Trumps iffy shenanigans on his way to winning the US election with Vladimir's help in 2016. But the Truth always outs & luckily there's still some great politicians in America even Republicans that know & see it by the day that Trump isn't fit to be President of the USA. I would even go as far as to say he isn't even fit to be a servant in the White House. So Donald, soon it will be said unto you, the words "You're Fired". And I and millions more can't wait.

PS. Pamela K, USA, you're right US had low turnout in 2016, 54.9% turned out to vote. In 2012 Obama's election brought out 60% of voters to the polls & his election in 2008 67% went to the ballot box. Next election, will probably attract 40 to 45% & if Trump is still there, there'll be no election at all because by then...he'll be a right "Dictator". God forbid!
Jaker, Dundalk
21/03/2018 10:23
I realize that i always comment on how much I love the canine...:-). Awesome canine in his team jersey...:-) I agree that voter turnout is critical and a Duty. Here in the US, we have embarrassingly low voter turnout. That, combined with there actually being four political parties but only two get media coverage as well as invited to Presidential debates is not demonstrating democracy. When people try to criticize Russia, if people in Russia could please ask Americans to explain American voter turnout and American presidential debate "criteria", it would be much appreciated.
Pamela K Tetarenko, League City, USA
20/03/2018 06:48
and good so! sure soldiers,МЧС, factories and maybe others were told to go and vote. so what. no one told them or forced them WHO to vote for. democracy is not only a right. it carries also responsibilities. and one of them is going to the ballot box on election day. while it is your own decision what you do in the voting box, where you put your cross or do nothing at all. but it is a DUTY. and it is good when people understand that. only wanting is not enough. one also must do something so you can receive.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
19/03/2018 18:56

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