No choice for Ukrainians – more Putin means more war

When Ukrainians write about Russia’s presidential “election” they put the word in quote marks.

The vote was entirely engineered, so people here were not holding their breath for the result.

The only unknown was how much support Vladimir Putin would claim, and even for him 87% was quite something.

But no-one in Ukraine was laughing.

Whatever the supposed result on paper, the meaning here is clear: more deadly missile attacks, more drones, more shelling. The full-scale invasion that Vladimir Putin ordered two years ago will go on.

Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, gave his response to the official result last night, describing the Russian leader as “sick with power”, a man who would stop at nothing.

He called on Ukraine’s allies to ensure Putin was held to account.

“This person must end up on the dock in The Hague,” Ukraine’s president wrote in English on Twitter, referring to the International Criminal Court.

Putin is already a wanted man in the Hague: the war crimes court has issued an arrest warrant for him, for the forced deportation of children from occupied areas of Ukraine.

Russian elections have been tightly controlled for a long time, increasingly so each year. This time, there were no genuine opposition candidates on the ballot at all.

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