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Showing posts from February, 2012

The alternatives to Putin are not viable

With the Russian presidential election looming in just over a week's time, Vladimir Putin's supporters held a huge rally yesterday in Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. Many newspaper reports went to a great deal of trouble to mock the event and question the credentials of its attendees. 
 However there is one detail which will tell you more about the upcoming poll than all the rather patronising commentary.
Among the banners which were carried by the crowd, the slogan in Russian ,”If not Putin, then whom?', was one of the more prominent.
Not a sign of resounding enthusiasm for the former President's return to office admittedly, certainly not an endorsement of Putin's decision to stand, rather than allow the incumbent, Dmitry Medvedev, his chance at another term in office. But still, a political truism which neither the protest movement in Russia nor its enthusiasts in the western media have countered.
The frustration of city dwellers in Moscow, St Petersburg and a few othe…