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Putin Speaks to Newly Elected Officials, Notes Nationwide Unity and Enthusiasm

Sept. 29, 2023, (EIRNS)—Over the course of Sept. 8-10, Russia held local elections across the country. This included regional, municipal, and gubernatorial elections, and was the first time that the new Russian territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as of Kherson and Zaporozhye participated.

The turnout was claimed to have been the highest since 2017, and was especially high in the new territories. In all cases Putin’s United Russia Party won by wide margins, including the mayoral race in Moscow which was won by Sergei Sobyanin, a close Putin ally, with over 75% of the vote. Moscow is considered to have the largest amount of opposition-leaning voters in the country.

On Sept. 28, President Putin held a meeting with many of the newly elected officials, congratulating them and laying out the tasks before the country. He called the elections “a momentous event, a crucial step in the new regions’ integration into the single legal and administrative space of our vast country.” He also said that, given the high turnout and large support for his party, that the results “are very convincing.”

Contrary to those who tried to choke Russia with sanctions, Putin said, what happened was: “Quite the opposite, the external pressure has ultimately become a powerful incentive for growing our own industries and tapping our potential in various fields.”

Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin then spoke: “I believe that our victory and the high results we have achieved are largely connected with the ratings of the head of state, the policy you are pursuing and the consolidation of society as a whole. You have said, correctly of course, that such results and especially the fact that these results are based on the increased nationwide enthusiasm, have put us under an obligation to act responsibly and effectively.”

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