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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TRANSCRIPT: [Medvedev and Putin] Visiting United Russia party’s campaign headquarters

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 18, 2016) After the polling stations closed, Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited the election campaign headquarters of the United Russia party. The United Russia party candidates who took part in the election in Moscow and the Moscow Region, along with volunteers and United Russia party activists took part in the meeting. Prime Minister Dmitry […]

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Duma Vote Shows Changes Won’t Come in Russia via Elections, Commentators Say

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 19, 2016) The most important feature of the Duma Elections was unprecedentedly low level of participation, a reflection of the Russian population’s symmetrical response to the Kremlin’s contempt for its views and an indication that change in Russia “will not come via elections but as a result of some sort of […]

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Interfax/VTsIOM: Russians differ on work of independent monitors at elections

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

MOSCOW. Sept 15 (Interfax) – A relative majority of Russians (43%) believe that the presence of independent monitors at polling stations makes elections more fair, the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) said. Over one-third of the respondents (34%) believe monitors’ participation does not influence the fairness of elections in any way and eight percent believe their presence only worsens […]

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Russian Opposition Just as Moscow-Centric as Russian Regime, Shtepa Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 13, 2016) Russian opposition figures who took part in recent discussions in Tallinn and Vilnius said many “just words” about how totally predictable the upcoming elections in Russia will be, Vadim Shtepa says. But they were also totally predictable in focusing “almost exclusively” on Moscow and how Muscovites will react. Participants […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Post-Election Economy: Down, But Not Out. Parliamentary elections are rapidly approaching, but this time politicians aren’t making any pie-in-the-sky promises.” – Moscow Times/Boris Grozovsky

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

By any measure, the Russian economy is deep in a classic recession: GDP has dropped for the sixth consecutive quarter. If Russia had political competition, these elections would pose a challenge for both the ruling party and the opposition. But without real competition, politicians are under little pressure to lift the economy out of the current crisis. … * * […]

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Any Vote Is A Vote For Putinism

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Garry Kasparov – September 9, 2016) Garry Kasparov is a Russian politician, a former world chess champion, and head of the Human Rights Foundation international NGO. The views expressed in this commentary, which he wrote for RFE/RL’s Russian Service, do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL. Translated from the Russian by Robert Coalson There are […]

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Some 4.5 mln Russians may become observers in Russian elections – head of Central Election Commission

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

MOSCOW. Sept 7 (Interfax) – There are no restrictions on people who want to become observers in the September 18 parliamentary elections in Russia; 4.5 million Russians can take part in the monitoring, Ella Pamfilova, head of the Central Election Commission, said on Wednesday. “Hypothetically, a total of some 4.5 million citizens can become observers, if only they want to […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with United Russia parliamentary party and experts

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – September 6, 2016) Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin’s St Catherine Hall with United Russia parliamentary party and experts representing professional communities and public organisations. Meeting with United Russia parliamentary party deputies and experts representing professional communities and public organisations. Progress on implementing socially significant laws and the May executive orders, as well as proposals on improving legislation, […]

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Putin’s Election Grip Is So Tight Even His Nemesis Can Take Part

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik – August 24, 2016) The last time Vladimir Putin’s political party won national elections, ballot-stuffing allegations sparked the biggest protests of his rule. Five years on, Putin appears to be so confident in his hold on power that even his most dogged adversary is welcome to challenge United Russia in next month’s […]

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Angry Farmers Stage Tractor March on Moscow

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – August 22, 2016) Several hundred farmers from southern Russia complained of intense police harassment Monday as they entered the second day of a drive towards Moscow they are staging to raise awareness about the problem of local corruption. In the space of 24 hours, their convoy of tractors and cars was stopped […]

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Detention of PARNAS party members in Russia’s Tatarstan “absolutely stupid” on part of local law enforcement agencies – Russian Central Elections Commission head

File Photo of Mosque in Kazan and other Landmarks

MOSCOW. Aug 16 (Interfax) – The detention of PARNAS party members in Tatarstan is a sign of the local law enforcement agencies’ lawlessness, Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC) Chairperson Ella Pamfilova said. “This is outrageous. The mildest words here are: it’s absolutely stupid. This is direct connivance with the law enforcement agencies; the Tatarstan authorities have never been notable for […]

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Russian Opposition Should Support Medvedev Rather than Try to Have Him Fired, Inozemtsev Says

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 9, 2016) At a time when Dmitry Medvedev has become the object of snickers for his comments to pensioners in Crimea and to and when more than 250,000 Russians have signed a petition calling for Vladimir Putin to replace him as prime minister, Vladislav Inozemtsev argues opponents of the Kremlin have […]

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Poll: Over 35% of Russians believe voting in upcoming elections is useless

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

Experts explain that many voters do not believe that their votes will be counted honestly, do not see any differences between the parties and do not consider the parliament an influential body. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA CHULKOVSKAYA, RBTH – July 14, 2016) A few months before the parliamentary elections in Russia, which will take place on […]

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Large Parties Expected to Dominate Duma Election – Report

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 14, 2016) The next State Duma could be made of three political parties instead of four, with smaller opposition parties winning no seats at all, a new report by the Russian Association of Public Relations (RASO) announced Wednesday. The ruling United Russia party and larger, systemic, opposition parties, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) and […]

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Third of Russians Expect Rigged 2016 Duma Elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 1, 2016) More than a third of Russians believe that the upcoming State Duma elections will not be free and fair, a survey by independent pollster Levada Center revealed Friday. Thirty eight percent of the 1600 respondents believed that the elections would involve slander, pressure on the electorate, ballot tampering, or other forms of […]

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