Russian Diaspora in Germany Reflects on Upcoming Russian Election Amid Political Tensions and Calls for Change


Ahead of Russia’s presidential election, members of the Russian diaspora in Germany express mixed feelings of hope, fear, and resignation. With the shadow of Alexei Navalny’s death looming large and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, many are skeptical about the election’s legitimacy and impact. Some plan to protest or spoil their ballots as acts of defiance, while others fear repercussions from the Russian state. The election is seen by many as a foregone conclusion, with Vladimir Putin expected to secure another term, further dimming hopes for democratic progress or a shift in the political landscape in Russia anytime soon.
  • There are nearly 240,000 Russian citizens living in Germany, a number that has increased since the invasion of Ukraine.
  • Alexei Navalny, a prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, was found dead in a penal colony, intensifying concerns over the state of democracy in Russia.
  • Russian diaspora in Berlin shows a mix of activism and resignation, with some planning to spoil their ballots in protest.
  • Many Russians in Germany feel a sense of guilt and responsibility over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
  • There is little optimism for a fair election, with expectations that Putin will secure another term.
  • Post-election, Russia is anticipated to face more censorship, internet blockages, and potential economic reforms due to sanctions and war costs.
  • The Russian diaspora in Germany is not monolithic, with a range of views on the opposition to Putin and the war in Ukraine.
  • Russian opposition encourages diaspora to show solidarity against Putin and the war by participating in protests.
  • Election results from Russian citizens voting abroad are not expected to significantly influence the overall outcome.
  • This election is marked by the absence of Alexei Navalny and occurs amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which cannot legally be referred to as a war in Russia.

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