AUDIO JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘The Rot Starts From The Top’: Russians Protest Over Problems Big And Small” – NPR/ Lucian Kim

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

“… [As] Putin approaches his 20th year in power, anger over bread-and-butter issues is sparking protests across the country. Even in sleepy Pereslavl-Zalessky, population 40,000, [perched on a lake, with onion-domed churches, historic and picturesque qualities giving it an untapped tourist potential,] locals no longer hide their frustration with the powers that be. … [A] recent rally in … unkempt […]

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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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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: “Russian PM urges United Russia party to back investigative reporters” – Interfax

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. July 1 (Interfax) – United Russia Chairman and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has urged United Russia members to back investigative reporters or even to hold a party contest for the best investigative report. “I believe it would be the right thing for United Russia to support investigative reporters. I’ll point out that these should be real investigations, not […]

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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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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] addressed United Russia party congress” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – December 8, 2018) [http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/59359] Speech at the plenary meeting of the 18th United Russia party congress. Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary meeting of the 18th United Russia party congress. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, chairman of United Russia, also made a speech at the meeting The congress delegates identified the challenges and priorities in the party’s work […]

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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: “42 Percent of Russians Say No Existing Political Party Represents Their Interests – Poll” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 26, 2018) Forty-two percent of Russians say they don’t see a political party that adequately represents their interests, according to a new study published by a Russian university. The ratings of the ruling United Russia party have fallen to 10-year lows as public anger simmers over an unpopular pension reform signed into law earlier […]

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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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Russian Retirement-Age Hike Advances As Putin’s Adjustment Approved

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – September 26, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/duma-approves-putin-s-revised-proposal-to-raise-retirement-age-for-women/29510648.html) An unpopular plan to raise the retirement age has advanced in the Russian legislature after lawmakers overwhelmingly approved President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to limit the increase for women to five years — to age 60 — instead of eight. Deputies […]

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RUSSIALINK: “United Russia pledges interaction with new governors of Khabarovsk Territory, Vladimir region” – Interfax

Russia Regions Map

MOSCOW. Sept 24 (Interfax) – The ruling party is ready for the constructive interaction with the new governors of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Vladimir region, according to United Russia General Council Secretary Andrei Turchak. “The party is ready for the constructive interaction with the elected heads of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Vladimir region if people and regions benefit […]

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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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Not So United: Russia’s Ruling Party Rattled By Pension-Reform Crisis

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Yelizaveta Mayetnaya, Robert Coalson – August 5, 2018 [Text with links and graphics: rferl.org/a/not-so-united-russia-ruling-party-rattled-by-pension-reform-crisis/29413547.html] Speaking to a riled-up crowd at a July 28 protest against the Russian government’s deeply unpopular proposal to raise retirement ages in Vologda, angry pensioner Nikolai Zharavin didn’t mince words as to who was to […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “Kara-Murza Jr. to face criminal liability if Duma adopts law on punishment for sanctions – Isayev” – Interfax

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW. May 16 (Interfax) – Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., deputy chairman of the movement Open Russia, may fall under the bill criminalizing actions leading to the introduction of foreign sanctions against Russia if the bill is adopted, Andrei Isayev, first deputy chairman of the United Russia faction, said. “Among the people I know who are doing it is Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., […]

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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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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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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] United Russia Party Congress” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

(Kremlin.ru – December 23, 2017 Vladimir Putin addressed the plenary session of the United Russia political party 17th Congress. Nearly 2,500 people are taking part in the congress, including 455 delegates from the party’s 85 regional branches, heads of ministries and agencies, State Duma deputies, representatives of the regional executive and legislative bodies, secretaries of United Russia regional political councils, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “In Western Moscow, Putin Allies Lose an Election but Cling to Power” – Reuters

Moscow Aerial View Satellite Image File Photo, adapted from image at jpl.nasa.gov

“More than 10 weeks after losing a local council election in western Moscow … Putin’s party is clinging to power there – by fair means or foul.  The standoff over control of Filyovsky Park Council came to a head when opposition councilor Vadim Korovin tried to sit in the chairman’s seat at a meeting on Tuesday. A councilor from the […]

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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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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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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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Down, Down, Down: Why Russia’s Ruling Political Party Keeps Losing Support

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – September 2, 2016) With little over two weeks left until Russia stages a parliamentary vote, ruling party United Russia is struggling to reverse a downward trend. A survey published Thursday by the independent Levada Center pollster showed support for United Russia had dropped from 57 percent to 50 percent in August compared […]

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NEWSLINK The Nation/Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “How A Siberian Mom Took on Politics as Usual in Russia and Won.”

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

In Siberia, Natalia Pinus is taking on established political forces and challenging the idea that Russian democracy is no more than a puppet show

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Russian ruling party confirms Duma election candidates

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RIA Novosti – June 27, 2016) A United Russia congress on 27 June approved the ruling party’s candidates and manifesto for the State Duma election in September, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported. Lists of candidates Half of the 450 seats in the new Duma will be elected by proportional representation and the other half by a majority vote […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] United Russia party congress

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – June 27, 2016) Vladimir Putin is taking part in political party United Russia’s 15th congress. The congress will approve the party’s election campaign programme and present party lists of candidates for the upcoming State Duma election. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends, I welcome the delegates and guests at this United Russia congress. This congress is an […]

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Interfax: United Russia intends to work on normalizing relations with EU

EU Map

MOSCOW. June 27 (Interfax) – The party United Russia stated Russia’s economic development, resumption of active contacts with the European Union and partnership with its neighbors as priorities in its election program. “In the upcoming political cycle, we will actively work on normalizing our relations with the EU,” the party said in its political program approved at the congress in […]

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United Russia: Same Game, New Tactics

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ola CichowlasJ – June 16, 2016) By June 19, President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign a decree that will officially kick-start the campaign season. Within a few days, all the parties taking part in the election will host conventions and declare their list of candidates. These State Duma elections will be the first time […]

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NEWSWATCH: “United Russia Primaries Open Pandora’s Box” – Carnegie Moscow Center/Andrey Pertsev

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

The primaries have once again highlighted the Kremlin’s domestic policy tactics. First, the administration announces a large project, makes promises, and even begins to deliver on them. Then, fears of failure and loss of control set in, and all work grinds to a halt. * * * The primaries join a raft of domestic policy gimmicks the Kremlin has used […]

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Can Russia’s ruling party restore its reputation ahead of the elections?

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

The federal election campaign in 2011 was the least successful to date for United Russia, which saw its reputation tainted by accusations of vote-rigging and fraud. How is Russia’s ruling party preparing for the upcoming elections in 2016 and can it repair its tarnished image among voters? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA SINELSCHIKOVA, RBTH – February 11, […]

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Micromanaged Democracy: Russia’s Ruling Party Schools Candidates On Campaigning

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – February 3, 2016) Elections for Russia’s State Duma, as well as a large number of local contests, are scheduled for September. And the ruling United Russia party wants to make sure its candidates are prepared for any awkward encounters with voters or journalists. The party has created a largely closed section on its […]

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United Russia primaries candidates must take part in debates – Medvedev

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

MOSCOW. Oct 15 (Interfax) – All United Russia primaries candidates must take part in election debates, and it is wrong not to do so, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a joint meeting of the party’s supreme and general councils on Thursday. “The candidates must participate in the debates, maintain a position of their own and be able to […]

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Interfax: United Russia loses four district head elections in Tomsk Region

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

TOMSK. Sept 14 (Interfax) – Four United Russia candidates failed to win district head elections in the Tomsk Region, the party’s Tomsk regional secretary Sergei Ilyinykh told an Interfax press conference on Monday. “United Russia candidates won in six districts; independents won in four – Bakchar, Krivosheino, Zyryansky and Alexandrovsky,” he said. There are several reasons why the party’s election […]

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Russia Could Use Prison Labor For 2018 World Cup

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, May 25, 2015) A prominent member of parliament for the ruling United Russia party has drafted a bill to allow enterprises to employ thousands of convicts as a cheap workforce to build infrastructure for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The legal amendments reported on May 25 in leading business daily Kommersant create a mechanism […]

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Interfax: United Russia: economic focus of presidential address derives from challenges faced by Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) – The economic focus of the Russian president’s address to the Federal Assembly derives from the challenges faced by contemporary Russia and some of the presidential ideas will determine the national development vector for the next few years to come, State Duma deputy, United Russia General Council Deputy Secretary Olga Batalina said. “The address was largely […]

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Interfax: Russia should not interfere in events in Ukraine – United Russia

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) – Russia should have tact and not try to give instructions to Ukraine on how to act in the situation of continuing protests in Ukraine, Andrei Klimov, deputy chairman of the Federation Council committee on international affairs and a member of the United Russia General Council presidium, said. “Further development of the situation depends on the […]

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Ruling United Russia party replaces its disgraced ideology chief

Duma Session file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, November 13, 2013) The issues of ideology in the United Russia party will be now overseen by deputy secretary of the party’s general council and a deputy speaker of the State Duma, Sergey Zheleznyak, instead of Andrey Isayev. “By the decision of the presidium of the general council, which met today, our commission for preparing party cadres, […]

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United Russia: Time for change?

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – October 11, 2013 Experts advise the ruling party of Putin and Medvedev to resolve practical problems. Last week’s United Russia congress demonstrated that the ruling party remains the nation’s leading political force and has no viable rivals. Nevertheless, experts believe United Russia will need to change fast or risk […]

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RIA Novosti: 44% of Russians Call Ruling Party ‘Crooks and Thieves’ ­- Poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 16, 2013) ­ Almost half of all Russians, 44 percent, agree with opposition leader Alexei Navalny that the ruling United Russia party is made up of “crooks and thieves,” a recent opinion poll showed Monday, a significant increase from two years ago. Navalny, an anti-corruption activist who finished second in Moscow’s recent mayoral election, coined […]

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Navalny Faces New Pressure as Mayoral Race Heats Up

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova and Ezekiel Pfeifer – August 23, 2013) The mayoral campaign of opposition leader Alexei Navalny faced a new wave of pressure by authorities Thursday as the Moscow Elections Commission warned he could be struck from the ballot and police raided a printer of his campaign materials. With just over two weeks left before […]

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Experts Say Upcoming Elections More Competitive

File Image of Map of Russia for Polling Place Webcams

(Moscow TImes – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – July 26, 2013) The upcoming Sept. 8 regional elections across Russia will be more competitive than the previous ones, amid declining public support for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, experts say. Despite compounded bureaucratic obstacles for the registration of candidates, ongoing regional election campaigns show an increased outflow of candidates from the […]

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Russia – making bloggers ‘law-abiding’?

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief, July 15, 2013) The latest legislative initiative from the State Duma would award popular blogs the status of media outlets. I am using the word “award” somewhat ironically here. United Russia Deputy Sergei Zheleznyak, who saw himself and his family attacked in the blogosphere after it was revealed that his daughters […]

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United Russia MPs meet prime minister before summer recess

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Interfax – Moscow, July 15, 2013) State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin believes that the spring session allowed the lower house of the Russian parliament to learn political lessons. “The past session was not easy, and, in some sense, it was a breakthrough session as far as both the amount of work and the political lessons learnt are concerned,” he said […]

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