Putin's prop rivals were invited to a meeting to congratulate him

A tense scene in the Kremlin that reveals the type of political regime that Russia has

A few days ago, Vladimir Putin's dictatorship held a farce disguised as the 2024 presidential elections in Russia.

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There were four "candidates": Putin himself (with his United Russia party), Nikolay Kharitonov (of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation), Leonid Slutsky (of the Liberal Democratic Party) and Vladislav Davankov (of the New People party). This could give the impression that there is an opposition in Russia, but those three alternative parties are an opposition as false as the eight "democratic parties" consented by communist China.

None of the alternative candidates has dared to attack Putin throughout the election campaign. Their role in this farce is to channel discontent within the regime and give a false impression of pluralism. None of these alternative candidates rejects the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Two candidates who did oppose the war, Yekaterina Duntsova and Boris Nadezhdin, were excluded from the process. They are lucky to be alive, because Putin's opponents are being killed one after another.

The candidate most likely to stand up to Putin, Alexei Navalny, died on February 16 in a Russian prison, after being imprisoned for political reasons. In 2020 he had already been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent produced by the USSR that has already been used in assassinations or attempted assassinations against other opponents of the Putin regime. What Russia has is a purely mafia dictatorship, and in recent hours some images have been released that highlight this terrible reality.

This Monday, the Kremlin's Telegram channel has published three photos showing a meeting of Putin with those prop rivals. The Kremlin website notes that they were invited by Putin, surely with the intention of disguising last weekend's electoral farce as normality. Look closely at the faces:

It seems a rather tense meeting, in which the prop rivals look at the dictator with a mixture of fear and hatred.

Putin's face is even more significant:

It is like the mafia boss who receives his henchmen and who is attentive to each of their words and gestures in case he has to discipline them.

Putin hides his left hand under the table during part of the meeting. There is nothing in it, but if you told me that he was pointing a gun at them under the table, I would believe it, seeing the faces that your guests make.

In the center of the table there is an oval object from which four cables come out to each of those sitting at the table. It seems like a microphone system to capture each person's interventions, because this new farce was also recorded on video.

The group of journalists from the official RIA Novosti agency in the Kremlin has published two videos of this tense meeting. In the first of them, Slutsky tells Putin that they gave a lot of votes to the "main candidate", that is, Putin. It is a surreal scene: a supposed political rival bragging about having supplied many votes to the dictator. Slutsky says it almost without daring to look him in the eyes, he looks scared.

In the second video, according to RIA Novosti, "Kharitonov, Slutsky and Davankov congratulated Putin on his victory". The feciliation was as natural as if someone were putting a dagger to their necks. One after another they speak in fear.

Certainly, these three prop candidates have reason to be afraid. Any inappropriate gesture could mean that Putin will buy them a glass of Novichok. I wonder what Kremlin propaganda "genius" thought that broadcasting this surreal scene was a good idea. The only thing they achieve with this is to show the world the mafia regime that Russia has.

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