NEWSWATCH: “Russia: Sham Elections for a Dictator” – Freedom House

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“‘… ‘… Putin will win by an overwhelming margin thanks to regime-controlled media that glorifies the leader and demonizes his critics, the regime’s monopoly of all sources of economic power and wealth, and the removal of all serious opposition candidates through fraudulent legal maneuvers or by assassination.  Russia’s fake elections are now a model for autocrats in other countries, from Egypt to Venezuela-authoritarians who mimic Putin in deploying new strategies of repression … Putin looks to elections to confer legitimacy, but Russia’s economy is stagnant, the country’s freedoms destroyed, and the regime isolated. His claim of having restored his country’s greatness rests on the invasion of small, vulnerable neighbors, menacing threats about new weapons, and scarcely credible denials of Russian wrong-doing abroad, from election meddling in the United States to the use of nerve gas in the United Kingdom.’ …”

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