KANW-FM

Russians In Moscow Celebrate 6 More Years Of Putin

Mar 19, 2018
Originally published on March 19, 2018 6:46 pm
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

All right, well, speaking of Russia, I cannot resist hopping in here and sharing one moment from what has been a fascinating reporting trip. As you know - big election here in Russia over the weekend. Vladimir Putin has just secured six more years in power. And his supporters were ready to party last night. We caught up with them at a nightclub in central Moscow.

We've just walked into this party. It is packed. People in here are drinking shots and pink champagne. There's a huge screen up with live election results coming in. I don't actually know who's throwing this party or who anybody else here is. So I think I'm going to go see if I can find an organizer and find out.

Would you say your name for me?

ELENA: Elena, press secretary of this, yeah.

KELLY: Press secretary of this - who's organized this?

ELENA: It's not only one organizer, so it's a couple. And they decided to produce a community. It's about 2,000 people right here right now from different regions of Russia.

KELLY: So basically it's a party to get people from different professions, different parties together

ELENA: Yeah, yeah. It's a new form - we call it like poli-tainment (ph), like politic entertainment. We're trying to find a new vision to the politics.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

KELLY: May I ask your name? You're kissing my hand. Thank you - very chivalrous. And what is your name?

ALEXANDER TOPCHAEV: Alexander Topchaev.

KELLY: Did you vote today? Who did you vote for?

TOPCHAEV: (Through interpreter) Me personally, I voted for Putin.

KELLY: You voted for Putin. You must be happy tonight.

TOPCHAEV: (Through interpreter) We have to wait for the results.

KELLY: It's not looking very close, though - looks like you got this one.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Speaking Russian).

KELLY: We're just standing here in suspense. They've just called one minute, and they're going to call the election here. We've got a big screen up - 75.01 percent - don't forget the .01 - for Putin. Here we go.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Speaking in Russian).

(CHEERING)

KELLY: You're listening to the crowd, which apparently is pretty pro-Putin, going crazy here - silver confetti in the air. Oh, wow.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing in Russian).

KELLY: It's past midnight, and we're turning to leave when it hits me. This party is so Washington - power suits and people angling themselves in front of marginally more important people to take selfies. The awkward dancing, the cocktail buffet - it's Moscow on the Potomac, a very Russian yet somehow universal election results party here in Moscow.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing in Russian). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.