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

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

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

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

Kremlin and River

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

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

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

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

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

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

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

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

Russia Regions Map

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

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CEC refuses to assess candidates’ behavior at debates

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

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

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

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

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

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

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

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

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org 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

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

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

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

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

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

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

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

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

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

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

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

Yekaterinburg file photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russia Regions Map

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

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Interfax: Navalny tells of his questioning at Investigative Committee

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org 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

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

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

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

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

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

Large Mother Russia Statue Near Volgograd

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

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

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

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

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

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

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

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Making The Fake Appear Real

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

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

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Putin’s Support Drops Below 70% Ahead of Elections

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 1, 2018) With a month and a half left until Russia stages a presidential vote, President Vladimir Putin’s support in state-run polling has dipped below 70 percent for the first time in almost a year. State-run pollster VTsIOM’s latest survey conducted last week showed that 69.9 percent of respondents would vote for Putin if […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin to Push State-of-Nation Speech Closer to March Vote, Officials Say” – Bloomberg/Stepan Kravchenko, Ilya Arkhipov, Evgenia Pismennaya

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

“The Kremlin has decided to delay … Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation speech to [take place] closer to the March 18 vote [providing] a key platform … to lay out priorities for his next presidential term, according to three officials familiar with the plans. … Putin is expected to discuss proposals for higher spending on popular domestic programs like health and education, while […]

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NEWSLINK: “Grigory Yavlinsky’s Program Gives Russian Society a Chance to Preserve Its Dignity; The leader of the opposition Yabloko Party is a candidate in the Russian presidential election” – The Nation/Nadia Azhgikhina

Grigoriy Yavlinskiy file photo

“The leader of the opposition Yabloko Party, Grigory Yavlinsky, is a candidate in the March 18 Russian presidential election. … one of the rare truly democratic and professional politicians on the Russian political scene. His platform is consistent. This is his third run, twice against Putin. …. His program presents a realistic alternative agenda. He demands to end wars in […]

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Kremlin’s New Approach to Dissent has Marginalized Even Navalny, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 30, 2018) The Russian authorities have “learned how to marginalize the actions of the opposition without the use of force,” the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say; and unless Aleksey Navalny can come up with a slogan that will unite more of the opposition than does his call for a boycott, he […]

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Russia’s presidential elections: predictable results with an unpredictable aftermath; This March, Russia goes through the motions of yet another (re)election. Here are the contenders, and a few reasons why their contest may just be worth watching.

Kremlin and River

(opendemocracy.net – Ilya Budraitskis – January 29, 2018) Ilya Budraitskis is Moscow-based historian and political writer. He is current member of editorial board of Moscow Art Magazine, Openleft.ru and LeftEast. [“A strong president for a great country”. Campaign office for Vladimir Putin’s (re)election, Kazan, January 2018. Photo (c): Maksim Bogodvid / RIA Novosti. All rights reserved.] This article originally appeared […]

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Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman on Why Russians Should Boycott the Elections

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 29, 2018) The Moscow Times spoke with opposition politician Yevgeny Roizman, who has been the mayor of Yekaterinburg since he defeated a United Russia candidate in 2013. Roizman has openly supported opposition leader Alexei Navalny in calling for an electoral boycott of the upcoming presidential elections. Here is why. On the presidential election in […]

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Presidential candidate Yavlinsky’s public support HQ gets three co-chairs

Grigoriy Yavlinskiy file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 23 (Interfax) – The public support headquarters of Yabloko party co-founder and presidential candidate Grigory Yavlinsky has opened in Moscow. The headquarters will have three co-chairs: the leader of the Choice of Russia movement, Vladimir Ryzhkov, the former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Dmitry Muratov, and ex-Petrozavodsk mayor Galina Shirshina. “Only voters can return meaning to elections, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin Won’t Tell Voters How He’ll Pay for Domestic Spending” – Bloomberg/ Evgenia Pismennaya, Andrey Biryukov, Ilya Arkhipov

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… offering Russians the biggest increase in domestic spending in years … what [Putin] won’t be talking much about is the package of tax hikes, benefit cuts and other changes … to help pay for [it] … possible increases to the pension age and the income tax … cuts in tax breaks for staples like food … [and] co-pays for […]

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New Times: “In Anticipation of a Big Reshuffle”

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

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – January 15, 2018 – mrussia.org/en/the-rundown/media-must-reads/2896-big-reshuffle%2C-“kremlin-report%2C”-putin-and-2018-elections) While Putin has not announced any final decisions, journalist Denis Vardanyan discusses the reshuffling expected in the Kremlin and the government after the March 18 elections. The likely candidates comprise three groups: those whose work is marred by mistakes, those who want a reassignment, and those whose fate […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ksenia Sobchak has the signatures she needs to join Russia’s presidential race” – Meduza

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

  “… Currently, the only two presidential candidates formally registered to appear on the ballot in March are LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovskyand the Community Party’s candidate, Pavel Grudinin. …”

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Interfax: Russian Constitutional Court doesn’t accept Navalny’s complaint over participation in presidential election

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. Jan 19 (Interfax) – The Russian Constitutional Court has refused to accept Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny’s complaint about the norms of the court’s law on presidential elections. The court’s ruling, dated January 18, is available on the court’s website. The Russian Constitutional Court earlier scrutinized a norm similar to that contested by Navalny as part of a […]

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73% of Russians Plan To Vote for Putin – Survey

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 18, 2018) The majority of Russians say they will go to the polls to vote for Putin in the March 2018 presidential elections, according to a survey published by the state-run Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) on Wednesday. Another polling agency, the independent Levada Center, announced last week that they would not be […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Future of Navalny’s Opposition Movement; Why It Will Continue to Challenge the Kremlin” – Foreign Affairs/Anton Barbashin

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

“In March 2017 … Navalny released a shocking video investigation … reveal[ing] that Medvedev has been able to amass a tremendous fortune while in power … several mansions in Russia, a villa and property in Italy, and other assets worth roughly $1.2 billion. … spark[ing] a great deal of interest among Russians … receiv[ing] almost 26 million views on YouTube […]

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Interfax: Russian Foreign Ministry suggests barring U.S. diplomats from monitoring presidential election

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

MOSCOW. Jan 17 (Interfax) – A proposal to deprive United States diplomats of the right to monitor Russia’s upcoming presidential election has been forwarded to the Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC), a source at the Foreign Ministry told Interfax. “The Russian Foreign Ministry assumes that the U.S. side did not allow [Russian] diplomats who planned to visit some polling stations […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Weighs Biggest Spending Spree Since Putin’s Re-Election” – Bloomberg/Andrey Biryukov, Ilya Arkhipov, Evgenia Pismennaya, Anna Andrianova, Olga Tanas

Putin Descending a Staircase

“Russia’s government is discussing a proposal to turn on the fiscal taps in what would be the biggest domestic spending spree since President Vladimir Putin last ran for re-election in 2012. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin tries to stir voters’ interest in Putin’s election campaign; Slick, US-style apparatus set up in effort to present Russian poll as a contest” – Financial Times/ Kathrin Hille

Russia Regions Map

“… With 18 years in power … far-reaching control over institutions from parliament to courts and the election watchdog, and no serious challenger, [Putin] can afford to skip wooing voters …. the Kremlin frets that too smooth a campaign is dangerous. … voters’ passivity [includes] resignation that they cannot effect political change anyway … [that] could metastasise into widespread disaffection […]

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VCIOM: 81% of respondents to vote for Putin in election

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

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – Of the 67% of respondents surveyed by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) who said they firmly intend to vote in the coming presidential election, over 80% said they are inclined to vote for Vladimir Putin, Valery Fyodorov, the head of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM), said. “We are presenting another rating, […]

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Snob: The Mathematics of a Boycott

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

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – January 12, 2018) Dmitry Oreshkin argues that Navalny’s call for a boycott is good step for him, but not for voters Even before he was officially denied nomination as a presidential candidate, Alexei Navalny called on his supporters to boycott the presidential elections. Political commentator Dmitry Oreshkin discusses why this is good step […]

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By Dividing Society, Putin has Unintentionally Opened Up Russia’s Politics, Pavlovsky Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 8, 2018) Vladimir Putin during his first two terms in office sought to unify Russians around him; but in his third, he divided them by attacking what he calls “the fifth column,” thus unwittingly creating two communities within Russia, opening up the country’s political space, and making competition for power possible, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Now Shaking Up Russia: The Bernie Bro Taking on Putin on His Home Turf; The strategist for a socialite candidate running what’s seemed a quixotic campaign against Putin for the presidency already has handed the Kremlin some surprises” – DailyBeast/ Anna Nemtsova

Kremlin and River » Read more

Russian Presidential Election Watch 2018, the Candidates

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 4, 2018) Russia’s election officials have received a record 64 applications from potential candidates for the March 18 presidential race, the Central Election Commission announced on Tuesday. Only a minority of applicants are expected to get the chance to challenge President Vladimir Putin’s re-election bid by getting on the ballot, with deadlines for signatures […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin’s Rival Can’t Run for President, But He’s Still a Threat; Did the Russian leader add to Alexey Navalny’s protest prowess by barring him from this year’s election?” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer

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

“Now that he’s been officially barred from challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin in presidential elections next March, opposition leader Alexey Navalny is counting on becoming an even bigger nuisance for the Kremlin. The 41-year-old Navalny, who is banned from appearing on state television and whose name Putin never even mentions in public, is urging his supporters to protest nationwide on […]

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