‘Everyone Lost the Russian Presidential Elections’ Except Putin’s Favored Few, Yavlinsky Says

Grigoriy Yavlinskiy file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 21, 2018) In the March 18 elections, Vladimir Putin “received a mandate to change nothing … not in the struggle with corruption, not in health care, and not in education,” Grigory Yavinsky says. Therefore, everyone lost the elections: those who voted for Putin,” those who voted for his opponents left and […]

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NEWSLINK: “Permanent Stagnation: Putin’s Invisible Fourth-Term Agenda; The symbolic and real dimensions of Russian politics are in radical contradiction of each other” – Carnegie Moscow/Andrei Kolesnikov

Putin Descending a Staircase

“… Putin’s hopes for a brief honeymoon after Russia’s utterly predictable and boring presidential election were quickly dispelled. While Western observers are captivated by the fallout from the lurid poisoning of a former Russian double agent in the UK, a sweeping wave of new U.S. sanctions, and the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people, Russians have […]

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Why Ekaterinburg needs a directly elected mayor; One of Russia’s biggest cities is losing the right to elect its mayor. The position may be symbolic, but so is its loss.

Yekaterinburg file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Dmitry Kolezev – April 5, 2018) Dmitry Kolezev is deputy editor of Znak.com. He lives in Ekaterinburg. [opendemocracy.net/od-russia/dmitry-kolezev/why-ekaterinburg-needs-a-directly-elected-mayor] At the beginning of this week, several thousand residents of Ekaterinburg attended a demonstration against plans to cancel elections for the position of city mayor. People held placards bearing democratic slogans. Prominent city residents spoke from the stage, including the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Direct mayoral elections are abolished in Yekaterinburg” – Meduza

Yekaterinburg file photo

“A day after a protest in the capital, legislators in the Sverdlovsk regional parliament adopted a third and final reading of a law that abolishes the direct election of Yekaterinburg’s mayor. … Instead of the popular vote, Yekaterinburg’s mayor will now be selected by city deputies from a list of candidates determined by a ‘competition committee.’ …”

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Central Election Commission Chairperson Ella Pamfilova” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(kremlin.ru – April 3, 2018) Vladimir Putin met with Central Election Commission Chairperson Ella Pamfilova. Central Election Commission Chairperson Ella Pamfilova: Mr President, I would like to congratulate you on your convincing victory at the election and to present your certificate. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Ms Pamfilova. I would like to express gratitude to all […]

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Putin Won Because His People Support Him and Would Have Even If Vote had Been Free and Fair, Pastukhov Says

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 25, 2018) On March 18, Vladimir Putin “won something more than elections: he won the battle for ‘the collective unconsciousness’ of the Russian people; and because he did so, Vladimir Pastukhov argues, the Kremlin leader would have won even if the vote had been fully free and fair And that constitutes […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin thanks nation for re-election, promises ‘breakthrough'” – AP

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… the Central Election Commission officially declared [Putin] the winner … with nearly 77 percent of the vote … on track to become the nation’s longest-serving leader since … Stalin. … Putin’s most serious rival … Navalny, was barred from the race because of a criminal conviction widely seen as politically motivated. Observers reported numerous incidents of ballot stuffing and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A Mandate for Stagnation: After Russia’s Presidential Election” – Carnegie Moscow

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

“… Putin is beginning his fourth term as president of Russia. Andrei Kolesnikov, the head of the Domestic Politics and Political Institutions program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, discusses the elections results, some surprises in the presidential race and what comes next ….”

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin’s Hawks Got the Confirmation They Wanted; The Russian president defeated his strongest opponent — voter apathy” – Bloomberg/Leonid Bershidsky

Kremlin and River

“… The election was fake because Putin’s most vocal and most politically talented rival, Alexei Navalny, wasn’t allowed to run because of a trumped-up criminal conviction. It was fake because the “opposing candidates” were hand-picked by the Kremlin and because the majority of Russian media are under direct or indirect Kremlin control. It was also fake because of a fierce […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What to Expect From Putin and a Resurgent Russia” – AP

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

“… [Putin’s] domestic opponents are largely resigned to another six years in the shadows. …. Even widespread voting violations are unlikely to dent Putin’s armor. … accusations that he meddled in the U.S. election and sponsored a nerve agent attack in Britain have only bolstered his standing at home. Here’s a look at what to expect … NEW COLD WAR? … SYRIA […]

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NEWSLINK: “It’s the Series Finale for “That Putin Show;” Today’s election in Russia will bring another empty political spectacle to a close. But the contest over the country’s future will just be getting started.” – Jacobin/SEAN GUILLORY

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin Addressing Federal Assembly, adapted from video at kremlin.ru

“… Putinism is increasingly exhausting itself as its internal contradictions become more visible. …”

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Answers to media questions; Vladimir Putin answered questions from Russian and foreign journalists following the completion of the presidential election.” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – March 18, 2018) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening. Question: Good evening. What is your predominant emotion today? How do you feel, and what plans do you have for tomorrow? Vladimir Putin: The predominant emotion is gratitude to the voters for their choice, for the trust they have placed in me. Gratitude for their assessment of our […]

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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 […]

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With Russia’s Presidential Elections Looming, Ksenia Sobchak Has Already Moved On; “This presidential campaign was just the beginning.”

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 16, 2018) Vitaly Shkliarov was tired. But with just two days to go until Russia’s presidential election, Ksenia Sobchak’s campaign strategist could see the finish line – and sleep – in sight. Sobchak, however, was only getting started. On Thursday afternoon, the clock was counting down until the former reality television star was due […]

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Kemerovo governor warned not to use administrative resources in election – Pamfilova

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) – The Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC) has sent the Kemerovo region’s governor a telegram warning him not to use administrative resource in the presidential election. “The Kemerovo region needs monitoring. We sent a telegram to the governor today warning him that administrative resource cannot be used,” CEC Chair Ella Pamfilova said during a meeting with […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Presidential Address to the Nation” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin Addressing Federal Assembly, adapted from video at kremlin.ru

(Kremlin.ru – March 16, 2018) The incumbent President of the Russian Federation addressed the nation ahead of the March 18 presidential election. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, friends, We will have a presidential election this Sunday, March 18. As the incumbent president, I believe it is important to address you ahead of the voting. Under the Constitution, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Real Drama in Russia’s Election: How Many Voters Will Show Up? Putin is poised to win another term as president, and efforts to boost turnout recall Soviet-era elections” – Wall Street Journal/Thomas Grove

Russia Regions Map

“… the challenge for the Kremlin [is] not how to assure [Putin’s] victory … but how to boost voter turnout and legitimize an uncompetitive election. … in the northern Yamal-Nenets region … residents of voting age will be able to take their pictures against an election banner at a voting booth and post it on VKontakte, one of Russia’s most […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Voters Left Guessing at Putin’s Economic Plan” – Reuters

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… Putin will enter Sunday’s election with little agreement among his top policymakers on an economic strategy for his next term …. Many Russians … prospered … [when] high oil prices contribut[ed] to bumper growth rates before … 2008 …. But the economy sank into recession after Western … sanctions … [over] Ukraine. A collapse in oil prices and the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Does Putin’s Russia reject the West?” – BBC/Sarah Rainsford

File Photo of British Parliament Building Including Saint Stephen's Tower Containing Big Ben

“Amid the furor over a nerve agent spy attack in the UK, Russia is holding a presidential election. … Putin is expected to win yet another term in office. Do ordinary Russians share his outlook? …”  

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On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia: Part Two: Putin, Grudinin, Titov and the Meaning of Life

File Photo of Car on Road in Siberian Town

Subject: Part Two Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia Part Two: Putin, Grudinin, Titov and the Meaning of Life By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the hub for the first civil society development support network in the former […]

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On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia; Part One: Ksenia Sobchak

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

Subject: The Siberian Campaign Trail Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia Part One: Ksenia Sobchak By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the hub for the first civil society development support network in the former Soviet Union.] [Text with […]

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Sobchak says planned to go to Crimea on humanitarian mission, not to campaign

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK. March 13 (Interfax) – Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak said that she has no plans to campaign in Crimea and was going to travel there on a humanitarian mission. “I am not going to campaign there and have never planned to do so. But thousands of petitions are coming to me from Crimean Tatars, from people who have lost […]

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Films about Putin posted on social media not violations – Pamfilova

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax) – The posting of Andrei Kondrashov’s film “Putin” and similar videos on social media is not a violation, because election laws do not regulate the Internet, Central Elections Commission (CEC) Chair Ella Pamfilova said in response to a question from Interfax. “This is not a violation, because we don’t regulate the the Internet,” Pamfilova said. “If […]

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NEWSLINK: “Alexey Navalny’s election boycott reveals the symbolic matrix of Russian politics; Boycotting the Russian presidential elections is the logical extension of the opposition politician’s radical street politics” – OpenDemocracy/Dmitry Lebedev

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

“Presidential elections in today’s Russia are often talked about as mere formalities, as procedures essential to maintaining a democratic façade. The outcome of the process is known to everyone in advance. In public, the only person who can doubt the outcome is the one who is actually responsible for it – Vladimir Putin, who delayed announcing his re-election bid for […]

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Russia’s elections: the rise and fall of “dramaturgiya;” The Kremlin is used to scripting election campaigns to the minute. But the 2018 election shows how they’re losing control.

Kremlin and River

(opendemocracy.net – Andrew Wilson – March 9, 2018 – opendemocracy.net/od-russia/andrew-wilson/russias-elections-the-rise-and-fall-of-dramaturgiya) Andrew Wilson is Professor in Ukrainian Studies at University College London. His most recent book Ukraine Crisis: What the West Needs to Know was published by Yale University Press in 2014. Russian elections used to be all about dramaturgiya, meaning an artificial and carefully-scripted drama. Elections may not have had […]

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Interfax: Russian Central Elections Commission receives 73 complaints from presidential candidates, mostly from Grudinin – chairperson

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. March 8 (Interfax) – The Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC) has received over 82,500 appeals related to the upcoming presidential elections, and the authors of an overwhelming majority of them are asking the commission to explain some details of the voting procedure. “There have been a total of 82,578 appeals. This very large, an unprecedentedly large number shows vividly […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What Another Six Years of Putin Spells for Russia’s Economy; No level of debt-fueled spending can overcome the stagnation caused by the state’s continued domination of the economy” – Eurasianet/David Szakonyi

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“… Officials are taking no chances to ensure turnout isn’t embarrassingly low, however, mobilizing students and workers, plastering the regions with pro-Putin materials, and seemingly handpicking the other candidates allowed to run. There are many consequences to holding stage-managed elections. Clearly they are a violation of basic political rights. … [and] the Russian presidential campaign offers nearly zero discussions of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity in large cities tumbled by 12 points in February” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin Addressing Federal Assembly, adapted from video at kremlin.ru

“… Putin’s popularity in large cities tumbled by 12 percentage points in the last month to 57.1% … state owned … VTsIOM … reported ….  less than 10 days to go until [the presidential election] Putin’s popularity rating fell from 69.7% in January to 57.1% in February in the … millionki … 11 cities with more than 1mn residents …. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Putin Takes His Campaign to Leading Industrial Town” – AP

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

“… Putin … took his campaign to one of Russia’s leading industrial companies, vowing to bolster high-tech industries and improve living standards. … travel[ing] to … the Urals to visit Uralvagonzavod, a huge factory producing … battle tanks … and railroad cars. … seek[ing] to shore up his support base before the March 18 presidential election. * * * The Uralvagonzavod […]

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As Russia’s presidential election approaches, apathy is running high; On 18 March, Russians go to the polls to elect a new president (or rather, re-elect the old one. But there’s little enthusiasm around.

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(opendemocracy.net – Elena Solovyova – March 2, 2018) Elena Solovyova is a journalist for 7×7-Horizontal Russia. She won the Redkollegia Prize for her research into the links between the leadership of the Komi Republic and the nationalist organisation Rubezh Severa (Northern Frontier). She lives in Syktyvkar. In Syktyvkar, the capital of Komi in northwestern Russia, there is a junction where […]

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NEWSLINK: “He’s trying to say: Take us seriously. We’re not joking anymore’ Russian political and security experts interpret Putin’s state-of-the-nation speech” – Meduza

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… Putin addressed the Federal Assembly, devoting a significant part of his speech to a presentation of Russia’s latest weapons, including nuclear missiles, and calling on NATO to cease its eastward expansion. … Meduza asked several political and security experts to explain why Putin demonstrated all these weapons and what the speech means for his next presidential term. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “If Russia’s minorities are excluded from national political life, then why are they the most “loyal” on paper? By rejecting popular support in Russia’s national republics, you can win more votes than you lose.” (Excerpt) – OpenDemocracy/Badma Biurchiev

Russia Regions Map

(opendemocracy.net – Badma Biurchiev – March 1, 2018) [Full text opendemocracy.net/od-russia/badma-biurchiev/If-russias-minorities-are-excluded] Badma Biurchiev was born in Kalmykia in 1973, and has worked as a journalist since 2003. He currently works for Kavpolit, where he covers Dagestan and Kalmykia. He has previously worked for Bolshoy Kavkaz and Caucasian Knot. On 20 February, Alexey Navalny, banned from standing as a candidate in […]

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CEC refuses to assess candidates’ behavior at debates

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. March 1 (Interfax) – The Central Elections Commission (CEC) has no right to assess the behavior of presidential candidates at debates; if need be, they can protect their integrity and reputation in court, CEC head Ella Pamfilova said in a statement obtained by Interfax on Thursday. “It is not within the Russian CEC’s purview to assess the behavior of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “External Interference Narratives in Russian and U.S. Politics: Conspiracy Theorizing Meets Whataboutism” [Excerpt]

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Serghei Golunov – February 2018) Serghei Golunov is Professor at the Center for Asia-Pacific Future Studies at Kyushu University, Japan. [Full text ponarseurasia.org/memo/external-interference-narratives-russian-and-us-politics-conspiracy-theorizing] (PONARS Policy Memo) Conspiracy theories about covert external interference play significant roles in the political discourses of many countries worldwide. In Russia, conspiracy theorizing about U.S. clandestine interference is a long-time, long-term […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia stuck in a groove as Putin faces existential quandary” – Asia Times/Sergey Aleksashenko

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

“Vladimir Putin will be elected to another six-year term on March 18 – and his country’s economic and political environment will continue to deteriorate. What remains to be seen is whether he will change the constitution to stay in power beyond 2024 …”

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Russia’s Opposition Leaders Come Together, Briefly, in Nemtsov March; But with three weeks until the presidential election, political analysts don’t see a viable strategy

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 25, 2018) For the third year running on Sunday afternoon, the disparate political movements in opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin came together – if only for a brief few hours – to march in the memory of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov. “The march is symbolically important for the entire democratic opposition,” one […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Opposition activist Alexei Navalny will spend Russia’s presidential elections in jail” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org by Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“Anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny and his chief of staff were arrested on February 22 and will be held for 30 days, taking them out of circulation for the March 18 presidential elections. Navalny has been touring the country for most of the last year and is calling for a boycott of the elections. While President Vladimir Putin […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia on the Eve of its Presidential Election: How Long Can Change and Stasis Coexist?” [Excerpt] – PONARS Eurasia/Nikolay Petrov

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

[Full text: ponarseurasia.org/memo/russia-eve-its-presidential-election-how-long-can-change-and-stasis-coexist] Nikolay Petrov is Professor of Political Science at the Higher School of Economics (Russia). He was previously Chair of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Society and Regions Program. (PONARS Policy Memo) At last, Vladimir Putin has decided that he will indeed be a candidate in the 2018 presidential election. Considering how long he has been in charge, it […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Curious Case of the Television Star Running Against Vladimir Putin” – The New Yorker/Masha Gessen

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“… A wave of discomfort washed over the room when Sobchak said, ‘Russia is the biggest European nation ….  We are Europeans, we are not Asians.’ Another wave came after an audience member noted that Sobchak has risked alienating voters by voicing support for L.G.B.T. people and even same-sex marriage; Sobchak lamented that Russian television would surely now disregard all […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian network TV can show Oliver Stone’s ‘The Putin Interviews,’ but election officials wish they’d wait until after the March 18 vote” – Meduza

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

“Update: Pervyi Kanal has canceled the broadcast of the fourth and final installment of Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews.” The state-run TV network has already aired the miniseries’ first two episodes, and a third broadcast on February 14 will go ahead, given that it’s already aired in Russia’s Far East, said a spokesperson for Pervyi Kanal. …”  

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If Russians are ignoring their upcoming presidential election, what are they talking about? This year, local issues are the hidden focus of Russia’s presidential election.

Yekaterinburg file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Dmitry Kolezev – February 13, 2018) Dmitry Kolezev is deputy editor of Znak.com. He lives in Ekaterinburg. If you follow events in Russia on the Internet, newspapers or TV, you may think that the country has been seized by the most important election campaign in a while. Russia is going to elect its president, the most influential person […]

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NEWSLINK: “New Role for United Russia. United Russia’s new leader, Andrei Turchak, is asserting the independence of the pro-presidential party as a distinct force in domestic politics. As the ruling regime’s power vertical begins to fragment, United Russia will now seek to take credit for its own contribution to Vladimir Putin’s victory.” – Carnegie Moscow/Andrey Pertsev

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Outdoor Rally with Microphone in Hand and Heavy Coat

“… An intriguing role is being played by Andrei Turchak, head of United Russia, who in just a few months has revamped the ruling party. Turchak is the son of Anatoly Turchak, an old acquaintance of Putin. He ascended to the top of the elite by serving as Russia’s youngest governor, of Pskov region. By becoming head of the General […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Zombie Election; The Russian election is a horrorshow put on by an undead political system” – The Baffler/Natalia Antonova

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“Natalia Antonova is a Ukrainian-American writer, journalist, and co-founder of the Anti-Nihilist Institute. She recently came back to the United States after working for seven years as a reporter and playwright in Moscow.”

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Local Referenda Could Become the Black Swans of the Upcoming Election, Galyamina Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 6, 2018) Local referenda both where they can be held because opposition parties hold enough seats in local legislatures to authorize them and where people want them but are opposed by the power vertical can become an important means of challenging the regime by teaching people about the virtues of genuine democratic […]

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Interfax: Navalny tells of his questioning at Investigative Committee

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org by Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) – The Russian Investigative Committee on Tuesday questioned the opposition politician Alexei Navalny in connection with injury caused to police officers during an unauthorized rally on January 28. “Today I was questioned by the Investigative Committee which explained to me what it was probing. I was shown a police report which contained this ridiculous phrase, literally: […]

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NEWSWATCH: “How to Monitor Russia’s Next Election” – Moscow Times/Grigory Melkonyants (Golos)

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

  “… The country, the composition of the Central Elections Commission (CEC) and electoral laws have all changed. … changing the rules ahead of every federal election has become something of a tradition in Russia. Golos has calculated that the authorities introduced 15 amendments to presidential election legislation between 2012 and 2017. In total, 59 out of the law’s 87 […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin Supporters’ Election Pitch: Remember Stalingrad; Video made at memorial to WWII victory is part of patriotic wave ahead of Russia’s March election” – Wall Street Journal/James Marson

Large Mother Russia Statue Near Volgograd

“… the video has also been chided for taking things too far, including on state television, underscoring the tension around the Kremlin’s efforts to drum up support despite a stagnant economy and a fall in living standards in recent years. * * *  Putin has made commemoration of the World War II [Stalingrad] victory a centerpiece of his rule, portraying […]

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The symbolic meaning of the presidential elections for Russian liberals; The Sobchak and Navalny campaigns are two very different options for the future of Russia’s democratic movement.

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Alexander Kynev – February 6, 2018) Alexander Kynev is a Russian political scientist. This article originally appeared on Republic in Russian. On the pages of Vedomosti, I recently analysed the electoral options that democratically-oriented voters have under various electoral systems and various pre-electoral choice of candidates. I would now like to draw attention to the long-term strategic consequences […]

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NEWSLINK: “2018 election is no problem for Putin – but what about 2024? Vladimir Putin dominates Russian politics, but legally he can only serve two terms” – The Guardian/Shaun Walker

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

“… With nothing much at stake this time around, the Kremlin’s most pressing problem for the 2018 vote is ensuring enough people show up on polling day to make the turnout percentage respectable – which the opposition are trying to bring down through calls for a boycott. The problems on the 2024 horizon are far more serious. …”

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Making The Fake Appear Real

File Photo of Pavel Grudinin in a Farm Field, adapted from wikimedia commons image attributed to user Kelatrat at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pavel_Grudinin.jpg

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – February 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-whitmore-fake-real-election-putin/29018912.html) Pro-Kremlin media have been attacking Communist candidate Pavel Grudinin, whose poll numbers have been rising, according to pro-Kremlin pollsters. Kremlin-appointed Electoral Commission chief Ella Pamfilova has reprimanded Kremlin chief of staff Dmitry Peskov for statements that could be interpreted […]

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