NEWSLINK: “When ‘against all’ isn’t necessarily against Putin; Prominent Russians react to Ksenia Sobchak’s presidential campaign” – Meduza

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“Television host, socialite, and LʼOfficiel Russia chief editor Ksenia Sobchak announced on October 18 that she intends to run for president next year, confirming rumors that have circulated for the past six weeks. We still know very little about her campaign, though there are reports that political consultant Vitaly Shklyarov (who helped several opposition candidates win municipal races in Moscow […]

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Russian Elections Chief Says Navalny Cannot Run Until 2028

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – October 17, 2017 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-navalny-elections-pamfilova-presidency/28799529.html) Russia’s top election official says that opposition politician Aleksei Navalny will not be eligible to run for office until about 2028. Speaking at a youth festival in the southern city of Sochi, Central Election Commission chief Ella Pamfilova warned Navalny and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A Bernie Sanders campaign veteran advises a surging opposition movement in Russia” – Washington Post/ Andrew Roth

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

“Vitali Shkliarov, a 41-year-old political operative born in Belarus, speaks the gospel of Bernie Sanders in the style of a Silicon Valley executive. Technology, he says, is a key to access …. The idea got a test drive in Moscow’s recent municipal elections … the veteran of the Sanders and … Obama campaigns sees it as part of a worldwide movement. * […]

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

Russia Regions Map

(Kremlin.ru – October 9, 2017) Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova, who informed the President of the outcomes of elections that took place on the unified voting day, September 10, 2017. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Pamfilova, could you share your assessment of the outcomes of the unified voting day? […]

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Putin Now Looking to History Rather than to the Russian People, Stanovaya Says

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 27, 2017) Vladimir Putin views the upcoming presidential elections as being not so much about legitimizing him as the leader of the Russian people but rather as a ruler “who wants to write him name down in history,” according to Tatyana Stanovaya; and that shift will affect both the campaign and […]

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‘Caricature Candidate’? Sobchak, Navalny Clash Over Her Rumored 2018 Kremlin Bid

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – September 25, 2017) [Text with video, graphics, and links at https://www.rferl.org/a/sobchak-navalny-putin-kremlin-election-presidency-rumors/28756447.html] Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny is trading barbs with Russian celebrity and TV host Ksenia Sobchak over speculation she will run for the Russian presidency in March — a rumor widely discussed in media […]

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Oops! How Moscow’s municipal election turned into a headache for city hall; The unexpected success of independent candidates in Moscow’s recent council elections may be relative – but it’s real enough.

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Ivan Davydov – September 20, 2017) Ivan Davydov is a Russian journalist and writer. His articles can be seen at The New Times, Republic, Inliberty and Gazeta.ru, among other publications. The Russian opposition enjoyed an unexpectedly decent showing at the municipal council elections in Moscow last week. The Yabloko political party, having broken with its own traditions by […]

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Russia’s Local and Gubernatorial Elections, the Reactions

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 11, 2017) On Sunday, 82 Russian regions held elections for different levels of government. The elections traditionally attract little interest. But this year the vote was widely seen as a bell-weather for mayoral elections in Moscow and presidential elections next year. In the sixteen regions which held gubernatorial elections, United Russia won every seat. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian President Vladimir Putin expected to be nominated as a presidential candidate in November” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

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

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to be nominated as a presidential candidate in November. The procedure for nominating the current president as a candidate for a new term will be held in two stages, Kommersant reports, citing sources in the Kremlin where closed meetings on the upcoming presidential elections in 2018 have been held. …”

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United Democrats win over 260 seats in Moscow municipal assemblies – Gudkov

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

MOSCOW. Sept 11 (Interfax) – Over 260 members of the United Democrats team, which comprised members of the Yabloko, Parnas parties, the Communist Party of Russia and independent candidates, were elected municipal deputies in Moscow according to the results of the September 10 election, the organizer of the coalition, opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov said. “According to the latest data, we […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin cast his vote during municipal elections in Moscow – KremlinRu

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 10, 2017) The President visited polling station No. 2151 in Moscow’s Gagarinsky District and cast his vote in elections for deputies of local self-government bodies. On the unified voting day, elections of various levels take place in 82 regions of Russia. People are voting for top officials in a number of Russian Federation’s constituent entities, regional parliament […]

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Business community expects economic reforms in Russia after presidential vote – Gref

Sberbank File Photo

MOSCOW. Sept 7 (Interfax) – The business community expects that Russia may begin extensive economic reforms after next year’s presidential elections and the preparatory stage is now underway, Sberbank of Russia (MOEX: SBER) CEO Herman Gref said in an interview on NTV television. “The expectations of business and, in general, the entire country is that such an extensive reform process, […]

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How Western Election Monitors Help Putin

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

(The Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Fedor Krasheninnikov – September 7, 2017) Fedor Krasheninnikov is a well-known Russian journalist and political analyst. He has been a contributing opinion writer with the business newspaper Vedomosti and the independent online publication Snob.ru. Krasheninnikov also serves as political commentator for the radio station Echo of Moscow. He has organised environmental and political campaigns […]

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Putin sure there will be other candidates in addition to Ksenia Sobchak in Russian presidential election

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

XIAMEN. Sept 5 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin was unaware of television personality Ksenia Sobchak’s plans to run for president before the press conference in Xiamen on Tuesday. “This is the first time I’ve heard of her intention to run for president. I am sure there will be other candidates too,” Putin told reporters after the BRICS summit. As […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s government moves from war budget to election budget” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“The Russian government has moved from a war budget to an election budget as social spending soars and defence spending is cut. With the presidential election now only a year away, which Russian President Vladimir Putin, virtually unopposed, is expected to easily win, the Russian government has changed its budgetary focus and boosted social spending to soften up the electorate. […]

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Putin’s Would-Be Successors Ranked Ahead of 2018 Elections

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 21, 2017) Ahead of presidential elections scheduled for March next year, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and opposition firebrand Alexei Navalny are among President Vladimir Putin’s potential successors, according to a new ranking produced by a Russian think-tank. Published by the independent Peterburgskaya Politika NGO on Monday, the list casts current […]

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Interfax: Udaltsov plans to consolidate Left Front, urges left forces to nominate sole presidential candidate

File Photo of Sergei Udaltsov Speaking Outdoors, Holding Microphone and Gesturing

  MOSCOW. Aug 10 (Interfax) – Prominent leftist Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov, who served four years and six months in a penitentiary for organizing mass disturbances, plans to revive the Left Front organization and work toward consolidating leftist forces, including those in parliament, to nominate a sole candidate in the 2018 presidential elections. “The nearest objectives that I see […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Communists Pursue a Red Revival” – Stratfor

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“… The [Communist] Party’s rise, coupled with that of … other dissident factions, will not pose an immediate threat to the Kremlin, but … represents a trend that the current administration can’t afford to ignore in the long term…. cracks are beginning to show in the system that has supported … Putin’s government for 17 years. Demographic shifts, economic stagnation and building pressure […]

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If Navalny Takes Power He Could End Up Like Putin, Says Khodorkovsky

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 9, 2017) Former tycoon turned opposition politician Mikhail Khodorkovsky has warned Russians against pinning their hopes on Alexei Navalny, saying that if he should come to power, the country would face “hard times.” “On one hand, I would feel joy [if Navalny won.] A change in leadership is a good thing,” the former CEO […]

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Kremlin Plans Rapid Healthcare Reform in Time for Presidential Election

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 7, 2017) Russian authorities will unroll healthcare reform nationwide in time for presidential elections next year, the Vedomosti newspaper reported, citing a source close to the Kremlin. The Health Ministry says the organizational reforms for clinics, which were piloted last year, can reduce waiting times twelve-fold and boost consumer satisfaction by 10-15 percent. Implementation […]

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Why Navalny Can’t Lose

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 2, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-navalny/28654383.html) One way or another, we’re in for one hell of a show next year. One way or another, the March 2018 presidential election will probably be like nothing we’ve seen before in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And the reason, of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Risks Decades of Low Growth Under U.S. Sanctions: Putin Adviser”- Reuters

Alexei Kudrin file photo

“Russia risks being saddled with U.S. sanctions for decades, curbing economic growth and preventing it from regaining its status as a leading economic power, an adviser to President Vladimir Putin said …. Alexei Kudrin told Reuters that the current proposed tightening of sanctions in Washington should not have any serious impact. But he called for a major structural reform program […]

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Kremlin Plan to Make Fight for Justice Centerpiece of Putin Campaign Seen Backfiring

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 26, 2017) Two anonymous sources “close to the Presidential Administration” tell the Znak news agency that Vladimir Putin plans to fight “the struggle against poverty and social injustice” a centerpiece of his re-election campaign in order to mobilize Russians against local and regional elites. But Znak commentator Yekaterina Vinokurova warns that […]

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Kremlin Still Unable to Come Up with Future for Putin to Run On, Vedomosti Says

Putin at Desk

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 17, 2017) An article in today’s Vedomosti suggesting that the Kremlin has not been able to come up with “an image of the future” which Vladimir Putin can use in the upcoming presidential elections has sparked widespread comment in the Internet that perhaps this means that “Putin doesn’t have a future” […]

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Medvedev actively involved in regional election campaign – press secretary Timakova

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

MOSCOW. July 13 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s press secretary Natalia Timakova has dismissed as untrue a report by the newspaper Vedomosti, which claimed that United Russia chairman Medvedev has not joined the election campaign and has not been visiting regions which will have a gubernatorial election in September. The newspaper explained the “meager activity” of Medvedev by […]

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Issue of Putin’s nomination as candidate in 2018 presidential elections not yet on Kremlin agenda – Peskov

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. July 6 (Interfax) – The issue of Vladimir Putin’s nomination as a candidate for the 2018 presidential elections is currently not on the Kremlin agenda, presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov said. “This issue is not on the Kremlin agenda. It just doesn’t exist yet,” Peskov told reporters on Thursday, responding to a question as to whether Putin will run […]

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Putin Likely to Run as Independent in 2018 Election

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 6, 2017) President Vladimir Putin will likely run as an independent candidate in presidential elections next year to capitalize on his widespread public support, news outlet RBC reported, citing three sources close to the Kremlin. Running as an independent would allow Putin to position himself as a candidate for all Russians, taking advantage of […]

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Why Putin Isn’t Laughing at Russia’s Foul-Mouthed YouTube Craze

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jake Rudnitsky, Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer – June 19, 2017) Nikolai Sobolev’s acute sense of what’s on the minds of his young audience has made his expletive-laced video blog one of Russia’s hottest. But after a steady diet of topics like teen angst, the 23-year-old found an unexpected new issue was taking off this spring: opposition […]

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Putin Hopes to Get Majority of Largely Conformist First-Time Voters, Moscow Analysts Say

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 8, 2017) The Kremlin plans to make youth policy a centerpiece of Vladimir Putin’s campaign, Vedomosti says today, a reflection experts suggest of its belief that young people see no alternative to Putin but might not take part unless appealed to and its concern that older cohorts may be less inclined […]

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RUSSIALINK RIA Novosti: Kremlin dismisses report on young people as top election theme

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(RIA Novosti – June 8, 2017) Moscow, 8 June: Issues concerning young people always become one of the main themes in an election campaign, but to say that this theme will be the only priority is primitive oversimplification, the press secretary of the head of state, Dmitry Peskov, said. Citing sources, the Vedomosti newspaper reported earlier (bit.ly/2rQGutl) that one of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s reelection strategy in a nutshell: 69% of Russians view U.S. as an enemy per Levada poll …” – Andrew S. Weiss/ twitter @andrewsweiss

United States Map, adapted from image at epa.gov

(Andrew S. Weiss, Vice President for Studies (Russia Eurasia Program) Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – @andrewsweiss on Twitter – June 5, 2017) “Putin’s reelection strategy in a nutshell: 69% of Russians view US as an enemy per Levada poll (RUS) https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2017/06/05/692946-rossiyan-ukrainu-vragom?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=692946-rossiyan-ukrainu-vragom&utm_medium=share “ [embedded live feed of tweet also should load below:] Putin’s reelection strategy in a nutshell: 69% of Russians view […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin Critic Alexei Navalny Vows to Fight On; As legal obstacles to opposition figure’s presidential run multiply, he says in interview ‘Kremlin will have no choice’ than to let his campaign proceed” – Wall Street Journal/ Nathan Hodge

Alexei Navalny file photo

“… Navalny has mobilized thousands of demonstrators across [Russia] to protest corruption under … Putin. Now he says he is pressing ahead with a quixotic effort to run against his country’s powerful leader in elections next year. … despite … serious legal obstacles …. he was found guilty of embezzlement by a court in Kirov … a verdict he said was politically motivated to […]

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Putin Is Taking Lessons From Trump on How to Win at the Polls

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stepan Kravchenko, Evgenia Pismennaya, Ilya Arkhipov – May 10, 2017) [Text with charts bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-10/now-it-s-trump-s-turn-to-show-putin-how-to-win-bigly-at-polls] The Kremlin thinks it knows the secret to Donald Trump’s election victory — and it’s not the kind of hacking you might think. The man Putin hired to deliver the crushing re-election win he’s seeking next March, Sergei Kiriyenko, wants to emulate […]

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Putin to Stress Superpower Status in Presidential Campaign; Restoring Moscow’s global influence will be a dominant theme of the 2018 election, experts say

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Mikhail Fishman, Matthew Kupfer – March 23, 2017) In 2016, Donald Trump rode a wave of popular discontent to the White House on the promise that he would “make America great again.” As Russia’s presidential election, scheduled for March 2018 draws nearer, President Vladimir Putin may try a similar tactic – by contending that he […]

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NEWSWATCH: “For the Kremlin, Boosting Turnout Is Key Task for 2018 Vote” – AP

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

“With a year to go before #Russia’s presidential election …. #Putin is set to glide easily to another term against a familiar pack of torpid rivals – leftovers from past races. But the Kremlin must figure out how to overcome one major problem in Russia’s political environment: public apathy. Putin’s strategists are searching for ways to draw more people to […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia: The Kremlin Moves to Keep Putin in Power” – Stratfor

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

“The #Kremlin is taking steps to ensure … #Putin’s continued control of #Russia. Of the measures it is considering, a plan to hold local referendums ahead of and alongside the 2018 presidential election is perhaps the most important. … to encourage voters to come out and support the government at the polls and … legitimize Russia’s political system. … Putin […]

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NEWSWATCH: “With court ruling, Kremlin moves to block political biggest threat: Navalny. The ruling reinstating a guilty verdict for anticorruption blogger Alexei Navalny effectively rules him out of next year’s presidential race. But it may help him remain a viable Kremlin opponent.” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Kremlin and River

“The legal odyssey of Russia’s best-known opposition leader, anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, has been mindbogglingly complicated, full of twists and turns. … with a simple and totally predictable political result. … a regional court’s ruling … upheld … Navalny’s embezzlement conviction and handed him a five-year suspended sentence … [making it] almost impossible for him to run against … Putin […]

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Putin briefed on election-rigging by regional officials

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

(Interfax – December 19, 2016) Russia’s election authority has briefed Vladimir Putin on violations during the last parliamentary poll, some of them “extremely serious”, privately-owned news agency Interfax reported. Breaches of the rules were identified in 23 parts of the country, Ella Pamfilova, head of the Central Electoral Commission, told Putin. “And in some places these were extremely, extremely serious,” […]

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RBTH: Russia’s opposition firebrand Alexei Navalny to run for president in 2018

Make the oligarchs equal to ordinary citizens, reduce the power of the siloviks, get out of Syria and Ukraine: opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny has spoken about his electoral program while internet users and political analysts have evaluated his chances. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA SINELSCHIKOVA, RBTH – December 14, 2016) Opposition figurehead and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny […]

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No Early Russian Presidential Elections Says Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 7, 2016) The Kremlin has dismissed rumors of early presidential elections as “absolute speculation.” Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists that the issue was “not on the agenda.” “This is absolute speculation,” Peskov said. “There are no such discussions in the Kremlin.” A number of experts had claimed that the vote could be pushed […]

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Two-thirds of Russians opposed to introduction of mandatory voting in elections – poll

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

MOSCOW. Nov 1 (Interfax) – The idea of introducing mandatory voting in Russian elections has so far failed to win public support, with 63% of Russians against it and 34% in favor, the VTsIOM said. The opponents cited “voting being everyone’s personal business” (64%) and “sometimes being objectively unable to vote” (14%). Those who support the initiative said participation in […]

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NEWSLINK Carnegie Moscow: “Looking to 2018: The Kremlin Plans Its Next Election”

Kremlin and River

The Russian authorities delivered a resounding victory for the ruling party in the 2016 parliamentary election after reaching the conclusion that they showed weakness in 2011 and the Russian opposition exploited that. This will shape their strategy for the next presidential election in 2018.

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United Russia will not adopt unpopular decisions – Medvedev

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

MOSCOW. Sept 24 (Interfax) – The United Russia party, which has won a constitutional majority in the new State Duma, will not adopt unpopular decisions, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is the party’s chairman, said. “Some people think that the constitutional majority in the Duma and solid representation at the regional level gives the party a right to adopt […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with leaders of parties that gained State Duma seats following elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with leaders of political parties that gained seats in the State Duma based on election results. The President congratulated meeting participants on winning the State Duma elections. Mr Putin also asked the 7th State Duma deputies to support Vyacheslav Volodin as a candidate for State Duma Speaker. Yesterday State Duma Speaker Sergei […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova and commission members

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with the chairperson of the Central Election Commission and the commission’s members to discuss the results of the recent elections. Elections for the State Duma and for various local jurisdictions were held in 60 Russian regions on Election Day, September 18, 2016. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Pamfilova, colleagues, I would […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian politics. The hollow election. The lowest-ever turnout for Duma elections suggests Vladimir Putin is losing touch with his political base.

Russia Regions Map

The Economist reports on low participation in Russia’s 2016 Duma elections. … The Kremlin made every effort to ensure the elections were as sterile and low-profile as possible. It banned and harassed genuine opposition parties and their leaders. … it persuaded many that nothing depended on voters. The official turnout was 48% – the lowest ever in the history of […]

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The Russian Opposition Should Do Its Homework

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Vladislav L. Inozemtsev – September 22, 2016) Vladislav Inozemtsev is a Russian economist and Director of the Center for Post-Industrial Studies in Moscow. A landslide United Russia victory and a remarkably poor showing of the opposition forces in Russia’s parliamentary elections earlier this week shouldn’t be attributed entirely to rigged electoral rules or fraud. There […]

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Pamfilova to stay in charge of Central Election Commission until last election complaint processed

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

MOSCOW. Sept 23 (Interfax) – Russian Central Election Commission Chairperson Ella Pamfilova said she would not leave her post until the last complaint regarding the State Duma elections was processed. “Not a single complaint will be disregarded. No one leaves until this Central Election Commission processes the last claim against this election campaign,” she said. “I have been urged to […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why the Kremlin’s big win in Russian elections may not be a victory” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Russian State Duma Building file photo

… United Russia … may have won a crushing victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections … undoubtedly … a huge boost for … Putin. But the most common remark about the now-concluded election campaign is that it was “very boring.” … an odd moment for Russia …. buffeted by two years of economic recession and still-escalating political tensions with the West. […]

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