Kremlin claims ‘Russophobic outbursts’ will grip the West ahead of Russian election

The Kremlin claimed Wednesday that the West is likely to be gripped with what it described as “Russophobic outbursts” ahead of Russia’s presidential election in March 2024.

“During these Russophobic outbursts, the election campaign will definitely be the main target,” Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Russian television channel Rossiya-24.

“They are struggling to comprehend the level of consolidation in society, the level of public support for the president even before the start of the election campaign,” Peskov told the network, according to comments published by Tass news agency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last Friday that he would run for reelection as he met Russian soldiers who had fought against Ukraine. In the apparently choreographed moment on Russian television, Putin was asked by one of the war veterans to run for president again.

Putin responded by saying, “I will not hide that I have had different thoughts at different times but it is now time to make a decision,” according to comments reported by Reuters. “I understand that there is no other way.”

“I will run for the post of president,” Putin said.

Peskov told Rossiya-24 that the Kremlin had received a huge number of messages of support for the president ahead of his public phone-in on Thursday in which the president answers (highly curated) questions from the public on a variety of issues ranging from potholes to pensions.

“There [in the West] it is impossible to understand this,” Peskov said, before claiming the election campaign would be the target of unspecified “attacks.”

“Moreover, the hybrid war against us is still ongoing. In these conditions, the election campaign merely cannot but be a target for attacks. On the other hand, we have acquired some immunity against such attacks. I am sure this immunity will work,” Peskov added, without providing further detail.

— Holly Ellyatt

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