In hours, President Cyril Ramaphosa will, undoubtedly, issue a statement of congratulations to Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, for the latter’s landslide victory in this past weekend’s elections. This would really be a sad moment for millions of democracy-orientated Russians and South Africans.

This weekend, millions of Russians went to the polls in the middle of an illegal and unpopular war against Ukraine. They had little choice. The run-up to the three-day elections was characterised by repression and intimidation...

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