Not to be outdone by Putin’s sexy ads targeting younger Russian voters, Mikhail Prokhorov campaigns in rap yesterday in Russia. If neither the New Jersey Nets and the presidential election don’t work out for Prokhorov, maybe he should team up with Jay-Z?
With the latest survey showing that Putin will win the first round of the March 4 presidential election with 66% of the vote (with Communist Party rival Gennady Zyuganov picking up just 15% of the vote for second place), it’s becoming clearer than ever that Prokhorov is not the serious candidate he perhaps once claimed.
Reuters today profiles the man it calls the brains behind the Putin campaign: Vyacheslav Volodin, currently Russia’s deputy prime minister.
The profile provides a wealth of information on Volodin, who is sure to remain a key player for the foreseeable future in Kremlin politics — the profile goes so far as to compare him to Stalin’s key aide Vyacheslav Molotov.
With Putin all but sure to win the “election” on March 4, and with the length of the presidential term extended to six years, I wouldn’t bet too many rubles on Volodin surviving the Kremlin gauntlet until 2018 (or longer). Until August 1999, no one had even heard of Vladimir Putin, who served as Boris Yeltsin’s prime minister for five uneventful months before Yeltsin announced his resignation and tacit support for Putin’s candidacy in the presidential election to follow in May 2000. So file this one alongside those speculation pieces on the 2016 US presidential race. Continue reading The new Putin (or maybe, the new Medvedev)→
Mikhail Gorbachev is speaking out on the Russian “election”, advocating for a transition from the Putin era to a new, more democratic era. Gorbachev, in speaking to Moscow students earlier, called out the upcoming election for what it is — a sham affair with only window-dressing opposition. Gorbachev predicted a Putin win, but implored for a transition to democracy from a regime that is “exhausted.”Continue reading Glasnost ghost→
Vladimir Putin has penned an article in Kommersant today outlining his vision of Russian democracy. Just try to make it through the opening lines and not laugh:
Real democracy cannot be created overnight and cannot be a carbon copy of some external example. Society must be completely ready for using democratic mechanisms. The majority of people must see themselves as citizens of their country, ready to devote their attention, time and efforts on a regular basis to taking part in the process of governance. In other words, democracy is effective only when people are ready to invest something in it.