Protest Movement Must Broaden Its Agenda or It will Ebb After September 8, Makarkin Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 11, 2019) Many observers, impressed by the growth of the number of people coming out to protest in Moscow in recent weeks, have ignored two important aspects of the situation that are likely to lead to the dying out of this wave of demonstrations rather than to its further expansion, Aleksey […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What to Expect From Moscow Protests This Saturday” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 8, 2019) Moscow’s opposition plans to press ahead with more protests this Saturday even after election officials closed all avenues for several Kremlin critics to run for office in the Russian capital next month. The ongoing standoff between Russia’s opposition and its leadership that has taken place in recent weeks has drawn international attention […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Super-Important Nonelections” – Kennan Institute/ Maxim Trudolyubov

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – July 26, 2019) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. [wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/russias-super-important-nonelections] The Moscow City Council election would normally be a dull affair that few voters cared about. But this year’s election is already hot. A number of prospective candidates claim […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Is Running Out of Options to Extend His Power; None of the relatively legitimate scenarios for keeping the Russian leader in power past 2024 look comfortable for him.” – Bloomberg/ Leonid Bershidsky

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

“… The Kremlin controls the Russian parliament … makin[g] it possible to change the constitution at any moment, making Putin president for life. … [a] ‘nuclear option’ … anathema to Putin … despite persistent election rigging in his favor. …  That makes it difficult to follow the path laid out by Kazakhstan[‘s] … Nazarbayev. … [who] … resigned as president […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Purpose of night searches of opposition activists’ residences was pressure – human rights council” – Interfax

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. July 25 (Interfax) – The recent searches of opposition activists’ residences were aimed at pressuring them, the chairman of the commission on civic control over law enforcement agencies of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council, Igor Kalyapin, said. “Very large doubts arise about whether these measures are actually founded. I have big doubts that the searches were conducted because […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘A Pre-Revolutionary Situation’: More Than 20,000 Rally in Moscow for Free Elections” – Moscow Times

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

Russia’s largest protest in years came after a week of demonstrations against the barring of opposition candidates from city council elections. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – July 20, 2019) Russian opposition leaders on Saturday led a protest in Moscow against the election commission’s decision to bar a host of candidates from the ballot for city council elections […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin distances itself from Moscow election controversy” – Interfax

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – July 16, 2019) The Kremlin has distanced itself from the controversy surrounding the registration of candidates in September’s Moscow city council election. “Broadly speaking, this is a matter for the electoral commission, and here the Kremlin simply has neither the authority nor any intention to intervene in this situation,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on 16 […]

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Capital’s Hard Line on Local Election Registration Further Radicalizing Muscovites, Yudin Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Windows on Eurasia – Staunton, July 14, 2019) Moscow residents have never been fans of United Russia and would never overwhelmingly back its candidates, but the authorities have decided to ensure that 90 percent of the local deputies will be from that party using various pretexts to disqualify opposition candidates rather than coopting moderate opponents, sociologist Grigory […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Meeting with Moscow City Elections Commission chair didn’t take place – opposition candidates to Moscow City Duma” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. July 15 (Interfax) – A meeting between Moscow City Elections Commission Chairman Valentin Gorbunov and the candidates from the opposition effectively did not take place, Ilya Yashin, a Moscow City Duma candidate in the 45th constituency, told journalists in front of the elections commission’s building. Media were not allowed to enter the building. “Instead of what was publicly announced […]

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Managing To Win: Sagging Popularity Forces Russia’s Ruling Party To Dig Into Its Box Of Election Tricks

Russia Regions Map

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – July 4, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/sagging-popularity-forces-russia-s-ruling-party-to-dig-into-its-box-of-election-tricks/30036639.html) Oleg Shein might seem like a perfect choice of a candidate to challenge the ruling-party incumbent in the race for governor in Russia’s Astrakhan Oblast. A State Duma deputy who endured a 40-day hunger strike […]

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Dirty Tricks: Navalny Aide’s Bid For Moscow Duma Seat Brings Out The Worst

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dmitry Volchek, Robert Coalson – June 26, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/dirty-tricks-navalny-aide-bid-for-moscow-duma-seat-brings-out-the-worst/30022120.html) On the face of it, the task ahead of 31-year-old lawyer Lyubov Sobol seems simple enough. To qualify as a candidate for the September 8 Moscow City Duma elections, Sobol just needs to […]

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As Opposition Wins Mount, Russians Increasingly Believe Their Votes Matter, Analysts Say

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 26, 2019) With every victory of opposition figures at the municipal or regional level, the most recent being that of a 28-year-old homemaker in Ust-Ilimsk, Russian experts say, ever more Russians especially outside of major cities like Moscow are realizing that their votes matter and that voting can be both an […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Abandoning United Russia Is the Road to Nowhere for the Kremlin” – Carnegie Moscow/ Andrey Pertsev (Kommersant)

Russia Regions Map

“…. The disgruntled public ask global questions: Why is the retirement age being raised? Why are prices and utility bills increasing, while salaries are not? Is it worth spending so much on Syria, Venezuela, and the arms race? Independent candidates running for governor or regional legislator can answer them easily by saying, ‘That’s a federal issue for which I’m not […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Online voting and other reforms are coming to Russia in September. Opposition politicians are skeptical.” – Meduza

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

“Just before Russia’s most recent presidential elections in 2018 … [a]bsentee ballots were replaced with the so-called Mobile Voter system … allow[ing] voters to switch precincts ahead of the election …. Both election observers and opposition politicians immediately criticized the new system. Less than one year later, Russian authorities have decided to introduce two new absentee voting systems, including opportunities […]

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RUSSIALINK: “No Left Turn in Russia; A protest vote is growing in Russia. But this is not a pivot toward socialism; rather, it is an expression of anger that the government has torn up the Putin-era social contract.” – Carnegie Moscow/ Andrei Kolesnikov

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

“… The success of opposition candidates in September’s regional elections across Russia was much more a vote against the Kremlin-backed ruling party, United Russia, than in favor of the Communists. It wasn’t just that people were angry with the government about its pension reforms; they were angry that the government had revoked a fundamental item in the unwritten Putin-era social […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin not considering cancellation of ‘municipal filter'” – Interfax

Russia Regions Map

MOSCOW. Nov 2 (Interfax) – The Kremlin does not deem the cancellation or liberalization of the “municipal filter,” the assignment of another date for the unified elections day, or other drastic modifications of the electoral system to be necessary, a source close to the presidential administration told Interfax. “Drastic modifications of election laws are not on the agenda of the […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting on 25th anniversary of Russia’s electoral system” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2018) Vladimir Putin met with members of the Central Election Commission, heads of regional electoral commissions and former CEC chairpersons in the Kremlin’s St Catherine Hall. The meeting was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Russia’s electoral system. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, friends. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Constitution […]

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‘They’ve Stolen Everything’: In Russia’s Far East, Dreams Deferred Amid Grim Mood Over Pension Reform

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – October 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/in-russia-s-far-east-dreams-deferred-amid-grim-mood-over-pension-reform/29542683.html) USSURIYSK, Russia — An unusually warm spell in early October filled this Far Eastern city’s central square with couples and schoolkids enjoying the last bright evenings before the onset of winter. Steps from the main landmark, a monument honoring […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Regional Elections Rundown” – Bear Market Brief (Sept. 28, 2018)

Russia Regions Map

“Moscow’s political control over regional governments is slipping, opening the door for local elites to gain greater control …. [including] greater de facto control over natural resources, creating opportunities for external investment but … increasing corruption risks …. [T]rend[s] [are] rooted in a sustained decline in living standards … also prompt[ing] unprecedented protest activity and a more confrontational … ‘systemic’ […]

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Pundits Say Russian Vote Results Signal Protest, Not Real Change

Russia Regions Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – September 25, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/pundits-say-russian-vote-results-signal-protest-not-real-change/29509181.html) As exit polls from the Khaborovsk region’s gubernatorial runoff pointed to a landslide victory for Sergei Furgal, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) candidate was asked what swayed the September 23 vote. “People are tired,” he replied to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia is throwing out suspicious gubernatorial election results in Primorsky Krai” – Meduza

Russia Regions Map

“Russia’s Central Election Commission is urging regional election officials in the Primorsky Krai to invalidate the results of last Sunday’s runoff gubernatorial election. Commissioner Ella Pamfilova justified the recommendation on the grounds that it is impossible to determine the race’s outcome reliably because of significant violations at multiple polling stations. … the commission’s ‘recommendation’ is more like a direct order, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Gubernatorial elections in Russia: Stop, cancel, start again” – PravdaRu

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

(Pravda.ru – Anton Kulikov – September 19, 2018 – pravdareport.com/russia/politics/19-09-2018/141628-gubernatorial_elections-0/) The results of gubernatorial elections in Russia’s Primorsky region (Far East) have been canceled. However the situation remains too vague to hope for its coming resolution. The head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, said on Wednesday that the results of the gubernatorial election of the Primorsky region are […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with elected regional governors” – KremlinRu

Russia Regions Map

(Kremlin.ru – Sept. 18, 2019) Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin with the newly elected governors of the regions of the Russian Federation. The President congratulated the governors on their victories in the elections -in the first round – during the unified voting day on September 9 and asked the elected regional governors to begin their work as soon as […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Pamfilova makes decisions without anyone’s instructions, didn’t bother Putin on situation with election in Primorye” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Sept 19 (Interfax) – CEC head Ella Pamfilova says she has not bothered the president about issues relating to the cancellation of elections, including in Primorye. “I don’t bother the president on such issues [as the cancellation of elections in Primorye]. If someone thinks I am a pawn, I did not live my difficult life to be a player […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s CEC wishes to investigate violations regardless of ranks of those who organized Primorye electoral fraud” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Sept 19 (Interfax) – The chair of Russia’s Central Elections Commission (CEC), Ella Pamfilova, has revealed that CEC members are shocked at the extent of electoral law violations committed during the second round of the gubernatorial polls in Primorye, adding that a probe will be held “without respect of those who organized the election rigging”. “This is the case […]

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Tension Builds In Russian Far East Region After Disputed Vote Count

Russia Regions Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – August 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/tension-builds-in-russian-far-east-region-after-disputed-vote-count/29495661.html) Rival contenders for the governorship in a Russian Pacific region girded for court battles, and more protests, after an unusual last-minute vote count in a runoff election gave victory to the ruling party incumbent. Supporters of Russia’s Communist Party have cried foul […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Communists Say Election Stolen by Pro-Putin Candidate” – Reuters

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

“… With 95 percent of votes counted on Sunday night, Kremlin-backed United Russia incumbent Andrei Tarasenko was trailing his Communist rival by around 5 percent. But on Monday, the local election commission said Tarasenko had won by just over 1 percent, an unlikely turnaround that the Communists said was evidence of rigging. The scandal is awkward for Putin, who met […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia: Runoffs in Four Regional Races Reveal the Kremlin’s Vulnerability” [Excerpt] – Stratfor

Russia Regions Map

“… Putin … in his fourth and perhaps final term as Russia’s president, faced a key political test in regional elections …. though the ruling party, United Russia, won most of the races – which included gubernatorial elections in 22 regions, legislative elections in 16 regions and a mayoral election in Moscow – it faced stiffer competition and more unrest […]

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NEWSLINK: “Did Russia’s ruling political party really lose Sunday’s regional elections? No, but there is one place it’s no longer in control” – Meduza

Russia Regions Map

“Did United Russia blow the September 9 elections? It depends on how you look at it. Yes, United Russia failed to win 50 percent on party lists in 11 out of 16 races for regional legislative assemblies. But it lost in only three regions, narrowly and always to the Communists: Irkutsk United Russia: 27.8 percent Russia’s Communist Party: 34 percent […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Fury Over Pension Changes Hurts Putin Allies in Russian Regional Elections” – Reuters

Russia Regions Map

“Russia’s ruling United Russia Party suffered a rare setback in regional elections despite winning most of the seats, a reversal its leaders and election chiefs blamed on unpopular plans to raise the pension age. … [R]esults in weekend voting for heads of about one third of Russia’s regions were the worst for United Russia … since elections for regional leaders […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin views organization of Sept. 9 elections as good, but not without some minor flaws” – Interfax

Russia Regions Map

VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 10 (Interfax) – The regional elections in Russia on September 9 passed appropriately and without serious irregularities, even though there might have been some minor imperfections, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “On the whole, the election campaign passed decently and orderly, with quite a high voter turnout, perhaps with some minor imperfections,” Putin said at a State Council […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Fury Over Pension Age Hike Clouds Moscow Mayoral Election” – Reuters

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

“Polls show … [that Sergei Sobyanin] will comfortably be re-elected Moscow’s mayor on Sunday, but public anger over planned increases to the nationwide pension age means many voters may stay away, tarnishing his win. … [in] the first test at the ballot box for the authorities since Putin, whose popularity has tumbled by around 15 percent due to anger over […]

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NEWSLINK: “A look at what to expect in Sunday’s regional elections, and what the results mean – Interview with Dr. Ben Noble” – Bear Market Brief

Russia Regions Map

“With elections across Russia set for this Sunday, September 9th, we wanted to bring you some deeper insight on what is happening and what the vote means for Russia. Dr. Ben Noble is an expert on the law-making process during the legislative stage of policy-making in authoritarian regimes. He is a Lecturer in Russian Politics at the School of Slavonic […]

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Russian Officials Warn Google Not To ‘Meddle’ In Elections By Hosting Navalny Videos

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Sept. 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-officials-warn-google-not-meddle-in-elections-hosting-navalny-videos-youtube/29472527.html) Russian officials say they have warned U.S. Internet giant Google against “meddling” in local elections scheduled for this weekend by allowing Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny to post videos calling for mass protests on YouTube. Representatives of Russia’s election commission, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Upcoming gubernatorial election in Russia to be mostly uncompetitive – FoRGO” – Interfax

Russia Regions Map

MOSCOW. Aug 30 (Interfax) – A competitive scenario will be an exception from the rule in the upcoming gubernatorial elections, the Foundation for Civil Society Development (FoRGO) said. The reasons for that are the fact that the process participants understand that there is no point in artificially stimulating competition and the low effectiveness of opposition campaigns, FoRGO said. “Competition in […]

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Yes Or No: Is A Referendum In The Cards Over Russian Pension Reform?

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Lyubov Chizhova, Robert Coalson – MOSCOW, August 10, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/yes-or-no-is-a-referendum-in-the-cards-over-russian-pension-reform-/29426658.html) It has been a quarter century since the Russian government asked its citizens their opinion on anything in a formal national referendum. But a proposed referendum on the hot-button issue of raising retirement ages moved one […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Communists push for a national referendum against raising the retirement age” – Meduza

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

“Russia’s Central Election Commission has received a notice from the Communist Party about possibly holding a national referendum on raising the country’s retirement age …. [asking] ‘Do you agree that the age in the Russian Federation at which citizens are entitled to old-age social insurance should not increase?’ … the State Duma [has] passed the first reading of draft legislation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How bad are things for Russia’s oldest liberal democratic political party? Well, it’s currently suing itself in Moscow” – Meduza

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

“The federal bureau of the ‘Yabloko’ political party is being sued for refusing to nominate Moscow branch leader Sergey Mitrokhin as the party’s candidate in this September’s Moscow mayoral election. The party held primaries … but the winner withdrew his candidacy in favor of Mitrokhin …. Yabloko’s federal bureau [then] refused to nominate Mitrokhin, though the party’s Moscow branch submitted […]

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‘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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