Putin is rarely a 'no' among voters in the north of Russia



 As Vladimir Putin surveys his tremendous victory in this week's national vote on constitutional changes that will allow him to rule until 2036, the Arctic region is hit with a victory map.


The tundra's oil-rich health, about the size of the Far Nenets Autonomous Region of Missouri, which has 42,000 people at home, is a dramatic contradiction, with 56% voting in the official count rejecting the proposal. The biggest voting for them is 78%.

"People want to accept that the authorities can change them so easily," said Yuri Tyalbau, 47, owner of a travel agency in the regional capital Narain-Mar. "These amendments don't make sense; there is no reason to change the constitution on July 1."

The Kremlin has planned to run Putin for two and six years in a raft of popular actions aimed at supporting the building. They range from guaranteeing a state pension increase to a ban on same-sex marriage.

Local tension
But in the Nenet region, which is known as the antithesis of the Kremlin, it is a local problem, which is big for voters. According to locals, analysts and officials, residents have expressed outrage over the government's plan to connect the area with its neighbors.

"If this weren't a referendum on the merger of the territories, residents would vote for constitutional amendments," said Victoria Bobrova, 57, a co-head of a regional civic group. "This is a vote against the actions of the authorities. It does not take into account demographic views."

According to Natalya Zubarevich, head of field studies at Moscow's Independent Institute of Social Policy, local authorities have not placed general pressure on voters in Russia, known as "administrative resources," and have been widely certified by authorities elsewhere.

“The level of administrative resources in this vote is unpredictable,” she said. But in the Nenets area, "this resource did not work because the local elites did not try because they were very unhappy with the Kremlin's plan to take over the territories". "They may have lost money from the merger."

Elections officials have condemned the significant violations. Central Election Commission Chief Ella Pamphilova said Thursday that the votes were held in the most transparent manner, and Nenet once again confirmed. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the number of votes was "very low" compared to the national vote.

There is no Putin or Putin

However, while the result confirms the adage that all politics are local, some see the wider message for the Kremlin.

According to Tableau, the Kremlin eventually pulled out of the merger plan, but locals continued to avoid it even on polling day.

"For years, people didn't vote like most Russians, they didn't care," he said. "But here they were acting like idiots. A lot of people saw it as a personal relationship."

He said the government needed to be fair with its citizens. "Not Putin or Putin."

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