Tuesday Briefing

Vladimir Putin spoke before a crowd of thousands at Red Square in Moscow on Monday.Credit…Nanna Heitmann for The New York Times

Putin, victorious, called for conquest

One day after declaring victory in a performative election, President Vladimir Putin signaled that the war against Ukraine would continue to dominate his rule and called for bringing the people of eastern Ukraine “back to their home family.”

The display of nationalistic fervor yesterday, before a crowd of thousands in Moscow’s Red Square, came after a three-day election whose outcome was never in doubt. Putin’s three puppet opponents praised him at the event, in front of a crowd made up partly of government workers, students and others who had been given tickets.

The authorities said Putin had won more than 87 percent of the vote. For the most part, Russians do appear publicly supportive of Putin, though they have been given no real alternative. But many are also concerned about higher taxes and greater repression and are very worried about another military draft, as Putin doubles down on his invasion.

During his speech, Putin raised the prospect of a “security zone” on Ukrainian territory that Russia does not yet control. Analysts believe that such a buffer zone would involve capturing parts of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, which could require a new draft.

Supporters of legislation that would lift a ban on female genital cutting demonstrated in Banjul, Gambia.Credit…Malick Njie/Reuters
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