RUSSIALINK: “Police Search Communist Party Offices as Online Voting Controversy Continues” – Moscow Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Moscow authorities attempted to raid the Communist Party’s city headquarters … minutes before a group of party lawyers was preparing to file a lawsuit to challenge controversial online voting results from last week’s parliamentary elections […]

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Expert Survey: Will the Outcome of Russia’s Elections Impact Its Foreign Policy? [With Andrei Kolesnikov, Tatyana Stanovaya, Angela Stent, Denis Volkov]

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Sept. 24, 2021) The ruling United Russia party retained a two-thirds majority in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, following elections that have been criticized as neither free nor fair by Russia’s opposition and the West. United Russia came away with 50% of the vote that took place Sept. 17-19, winning 324 […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Biggest Names Among Russia’s Election Winners: A first female mayor, a TV host and Chechnya’s strongman” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

Russia held controversial parliamentary elections last weekend that were marred by claims of mass fraud […]

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Fake About Fakes: Russian Election Commission Airs Apparently Falsified Video Sullying Its Critics

Russian State Duma Building file photo

In a separate development, tens of thousands of pro-government bloggers participated in a coordinated campaign to spread positive reports about the course of the parliamentary elections […]

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Seeing Red: Russia’s Communist Party Makes Gains In New Duma, But Does It Matter?

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Article text ©2021 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – Sept. 22, 2021 – article text also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-communist-party-duma/31473164.html) Moscow polling station No. 151 was set up on the premises of the state Gulag History Museum, just a short stroll away from blood-curdling testimony of the crimes of Communist Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Yet, according […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Online Vote Recount Shows No Sign of Election Fraud, Russian Officials Find”

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

Nationwide statisticians have estimated that half of the official votes received by United Russia in the election could have been falsified [. ..]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow To Check Electronic Votes for State Duma in Recount” – Moscow Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Independent data scientists and analysts said that half of all the votes attributed to United Russia in the official results were probably fake — a level of falsification previously unseen in Russian parliamentary elections [. ..]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Opposition Calls Foul After Ruling Party Landslide in Parliamentary Elections” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Controversial online voting cut the early leads of candidates supported by jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Russia’s opposition called for protests on Monday after accusing the authorities of rigging highly anticipated elections to the country’s parliament […]

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A Win For United Russia? A Loss For Navalny’s Smart Voting? Five Takeaways From Russia’s Elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

Here’s the first thing you need to know about the now-concluded election campaign for Russia’s State Duma: It’s been carefully managed from the start, with the opposition largely barred from running and a crackdown on government opponents that shows no sign of abating […]

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Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “A Change Candidate Runs for the Russian State Duma”

Russian State Duma Building file photo

Despite nerves and head winds, Natalia Pinus’s biggest challenge is defeating her and all change supporters biggest opponent: low voter turnout from an apathetic, cynical, and distracted population […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Crushes Last of Opposition Ahead of Parliament Elections” – Bloomberg

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… Putin has sidelined the last of his independent political opponents, jailing some and driving others into exile, as his ruling party seeks to extend … control in parliamentary elections despite simmering discontent. … United Russia … recorded some of the lowest ratings in nearly a decade earlier this year, scorned by voters angry over stagnant living standards and unpopular […]

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Navalny’s ‘Smart Voting’ Backs Communist Candidates In Bid To Loosen Grip Of Ruling United Russia

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

Smart Voting, an idea that Navalny came up with in 2018, is an online strategy designed to promote candidates that have the best chance to defeat those from United Russia, the Kremlin-linked ruling party […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘The Leftward Turn Is Inevitable’: In Lenin’s Hometown, Russian Communists Strive for Soviet Revival” – Moscow Times

Russian State Duma Building file photo

Despite Kremlin pressure, the party is hoping to use popular discontent over falling living standards to gain a strong showing in parliamentary elections this week. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Felix Light – ULYANOVSK, Sept. 14, 2021) When Airat Gibatdinov was born in 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev’s Perestroika had already set the Soviet Union on its path to oblivion. But now, […]

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Good News and Bad about Upcoming Elections, Golos Leader Says

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

… he [indicates] there are several reasons to think … the upcoming Duma elections will be subject to more falsification than ever before and even more reason to think that the regime … may simply decide[] not to hold elections anymore [….]

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RUSSIALINK: “From Jail, Navalny Urges Russians to Vote Out Pro-Kremlin Candidates” – Moscow Times

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

With a number of independent and opposition candidates barred from running, Navalny’s team has in recent years switched tactics to promote a “Smart Voting” strategy that seeks to rally support behind the most promising challengers to United Russia […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Opposition Candidates Are Fighting Among Themselves. Again.” – Moscow Times

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s Smart Voting system has added a new dimension to an old problem. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Felix Light, Jake Cordell – Sept. 13, 2021) If there’s one district Russia’s beleaguered opposition should be able to win in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, it’s Moscow’s 197th, Kuntsevsky. Named for the suburb where Josef Stalin had his dacha, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Tame Opposition Admits No Chance of Change in Parliamentary Vote” – Moscow Times

Russian State Duma Building file photo

… It’s a dilemma common to many members of Russia’s “systemic opposition” — the patchwork of tame parties allowed to compete on the country’s uneven electoral playing field who are nevertheless coming under increasing pressure […]

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Russia’s E-Voting Getting Off The Ground, Literally

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Critics have warned that the system’s lack of transparency and voter-verification safeguards could open the way for vote manipulation […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Diaspora Aims to Inform and Influence Ahead of Duma Vote” – Moscow Times

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

The Vote Abroad initiative is a decentralized, grassroots movement organized online across more than 40 countries. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Brawley Benson – WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 9, 2021) Polina Sidelnikova has voted in every Russian election since she was 18. This year is no different, even though she now lives in the United States. The forty-year-old human rights lawyer […]

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As Elections Loom, Russia’s Opposition Banks On Little More Than A Chance To Air Its Grievances

Russian State Duma Building file photo

Through an unrelenting campaign of intimidation and criminal prosecutions the authorities have purged the electoral field of all but a select few government critics […]

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Putin’s Perestroika, One Driven Like Gorbachev’s by a Desire to Revive a Stagnating System, Path to Its Destruction, Inozemtsev Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Sept. 8, 2021) Vladislav Inozemtsev, who has long argued that the Putin system is likely to remain stable for at least another decade, now says that the Kremlin is acting in ways that point to an attempt to fundamentally restructure the Russian political system before the 2024 presidential vote. And such a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “In Small-City Russia, Elections Feel Irrelevant For Local Business Owners” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

Saransk’s entrepreneurs are divided over whether the government is on their side, but discontent is unlikely to be reflected in the upcoming Duma vote. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – SARANSK, MORDOVIA – Sept. 7, 2021 For barbershop owner Oleg Kechin, the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic were a breeze. After shutting for just four weeks […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ahead of Duma Vote, Affluent Voronezh Remains Loyal to Putin and Stability” – Moscow Times

Russian State Duma Building file photo

On Sept. 19, Russians will vote in important elections to the country’s State Duma national parliament, the first major test of public opinion since a major crackdown […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Announces $7Bln Pre-Election Handouts” – Moscow Times

File photo of Russian paper currency, adapted from image at csce.house.gov

Putin has called for one-off cash payments to be awarded to Russia’s pensioners and military service personnel in a highly anticipated pre-election move […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Brands Independent Monitor ‘Foreign Agent’ Ahead of Election” – Moscow Times

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

… Created in 2000, Golos had notably denounced election rigging in the 2011 parliamentary election and the 2012 presidential vote which saw Putin return to the Kremlin […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Communist Party to be on top of ballot paper in Duma elections by draw” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 16 (Interfax) – The Russian Communist Party will be on top of the ballot paper in the upcoming State Duma elections as a result of a draw between parties held by the Central Elections Commission. The Greens will go second, and the Liberal Democratic Party will go third. The New People party will be on the fourth position, […]

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The Week In Russia: The Dangerous Summer

Forest Fire file photo

As September elections approach, COVID-19 takes a mounting toll and wildfires burn across huge swaths of the country …. The Kremlin crackdown on dissenters, civil society, and independent media continues […]

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Russia May Soon Move Toward a Two-Party Model, Zemskova Says

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Aug. 4, 2021) The September Duma elections are unlikely to bring any serious surprises in the party composition of the Russian parliament, Elena Zemskova says; but rumors are swirling that the Kremlin, on the one hand, and the three systemic opposition parties, on the other, are unhappy with the current situation. And […]

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1996 Russian Elections Made a Putin Inevitable, von Eggert Says

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, June 2, 2021) Twenty-five years ago, Russia had its last presidential election in which the outcome was not ordained. But after Boris Yeltsin’s orchestrated victory, Konstantin von Eggert says, the country entered yet another non-democratic era in which the rise of someone like Vladimir Putin was inevitable. In that sense, the independent […]

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Russian Bill Barring Navalny Associates From Running In Elections Passed

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

… The measure appears to be a thinly veiled attempt at neutralizing Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), which the authorities are seeking to have declared an “extremist” group ahead of parliamentary elections […]

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‘Green Shift’ Occurring across Russian Political Spectrum, Shaburov Says

Russia Regions Map

Most parties … participating in the upcoming Duma and regional legislative assembly elections are now including environmentalists in their list of candidates […]

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Navalny’s Team Looks To Expand Ahead Of September Parliamentary Polls In Russia

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

… Navalny’s team has announced plans to open offices in 10 cities where it believes the ruling United Russia party is most vulnerable […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny’s smart voting scores rare successes in Russia’s regional elections” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

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

“… ‘Smart voting’ tactics promoted by anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny[,] [promoting candidates most likely to oust United Russia, regardless of political allegiances,] delivered a few successes in … regional elections …. Opposition leader Sergei Boyko won … in … Novosibirsk, despite an energetic campaign by … ruling United Russia Party. … [L]ocal elections have been a test […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Faces Test of Voters With Poisoned Critic in Hospital” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“With his most prominent critic hit by a near-fatal poisoning that opponents and the West blame on the Kremlin … Putin faces a key test of support in regional elections ahead of a national vote next year. About a third of the electorate is eligible to vote … over three days … to choose representatives at different levels … in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s 2020 elections hotspots; A semblance of real political competition makes the upcoming vote worth following in several regions” – Meduza

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

“… [On Sunday,] residents of 18 regions … elect governors, another 11 regions … vote for local parliamentary deputies, and 22 regional capitals … hold city council elections. In several regions … results may not be in favor of … [ruling powers] in spite of … three-day voting rules, which can create increased opportunities for manipulating … election results. … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Regional Elections, Explained” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sept. 11, 2020) Russians are heading to the polls through Sunday to elect new regional and city leadership. In a year that has seen a global pandemic, weeks of anti-Kremlin protests in the Far East and historically low approval ratings for President Vladimir Putin, the vote is set to be a key test for the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin signs law allowing 3-day voting in elections, referenda” – Interfax

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. July 31 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law which allows voting in elections and referenda to be held for three consecutive days. The law was published on the official web portal for legal information on Friday. It enters into effect on the day of its publication. In accordance with the law, voting in elections “may […]

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Where U.S. Sees Democracy Promotion, Russia Sees Regime Change

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

In the aftermath of the revelation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election … Putin rejected those claims and accused the U.S. of interfering in Russian elections instead […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Here’s why statisticians are calling Putin’s constitutional plebiscite the most fraudulent vote in Russia’s recent history” – Meduza

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

“Researchers who study Russia’s electoral statistics believe … the recent nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments is the most dishonest vote the country has seen since the year 2000. … [F]rom a statistical point of view, … official results in many precincts can’t be attributed to fair voting processes. … According to official data from Russia’s Central Election Commission, a little […]

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