Tag Archives: United Russia

Putin-It’s US Not Us Which Caused World Problems!

Prime Minister Vladmir Putin told a cheering meeting of his United Russia Party the cause of current economic upheaval was the result of American economic failures. He expressed confidence his nation would weather the American storm of failure because due to his brilliance in saving hundreds of billions of dollars, Russia is in a strong economic situation and will emerge even more dominant on the world scene. “We can and must come out of the global instability stronger and more competitive.” Putin blasted American “cheap-money doping and mortgage troubles” for creating the current crisis.

An outside observer would have difficult recognizing there was a president in Russia who theoretically is the main leader of the nation since Putin mainly spoke about his own super efforts to develop the Russian economy. His message to the Russian people is just look in my direction if you want reassurance things will be OK in this time of turmoil and uncertainty.

Russian Youth Group Urges End To Immigration

Nations which encounter severe economic problems, invariably witness the emergence of groups within society who seek to blame newcomers as the source of their concern and cries of protect jobs for those born in our society against strangers. United Russia’s Young Guard has come out openly for strong measures to limit the immigration of foreign labor in order to ensure native born Russians get first call on available work. Andrei Tatarinov, of the group’s central office, complained, “we are feeding foreign workers..(and) “these positions and this money have to be given to Russian workers.” Russia’s Federal Migration Service rejected these demands on grounds Russia has agreements with other nations for free travel.

Russia simply can not ban foreign workers because it is a society with a declining population. Russia has among the lowest birth rates in Europe and is in desperate need of workers from other nations to keep its economy functioning. Each day, across Russia, thousands of foreign workers do the jobs native born Russians do not wish to do. This is the modern world.

Russian Threat To Media Freedom On Hold

The Russian parliament, for the moment, has placed a hold on proposed legislation which would have threatened members of the media with libel suits if they dared criticizing government officials. Duma Speaker, Boris Gryzlov, who heads United Russia and controls the parliamentary majority, said his party has changed its positon on the bill which would have allowed courts to close media outlets for publishing libelous statements. The bill passed in its first reading by a vote of 339 to 1. It was authored by United Russia deputy, Robert Shiegel, the Duma’s youngest member and a former spokesperson for the pro-Putin youth group, Nashi.

The most incredible aspect of this story is that only one member of a legislature stood up to vote against a blatant attempt to halt criticism of the government. The lack of enthusiasm for freedm of speech in a legislature does not hold out much hope for freedom of speech and the press.

Putin-The Man Behind The Scenes-For How Long?

Vladmir Putin will soon be leaving the stage of power as ruler of Russia to assume the role of leader of Russia in his new position as Prime Minister. The United Russia party formally offered Putin membership in its rand and he will “join the United Russia and become chairman of the party’s Supreme Council.” Since United Russia controls a majority in the legislature, it is a given that Putin will be offered not only party leadership, but the post of prime minister. Perhaps, Putin is covering his tracks by assuming leadership of United Russia and becoming prime minister. There is always the possibility–or probability– that at some future date Putin and his protege, Dimitry Medvedev will confront one another as opponents in the quest for power.

Control of United Russia will provide Putin with a constitutional check on any attempt by Medvedev to assert independence and become his own man. He may not indefinitely enjoy the role of protege who accepts the ideas and secures directions from his mentor. The situation smacks of a wonderful Shakespeare play about friends who become locked in combat over power.

Do Round Numbers Reflect Vote Fraud In Russia?

During a recent press conference a French reporter asked President Putin how it was possible for his United Russia party to capture nearly 100% of the vote in December’s election in Chechnya, a Russian reporter jumped in to exclaim 10 of his family members had voted for United Russia. Two bloggers who examined December’s election results found a disproportionate number of polling stations reporting round numbers– that is numbers ending in zero and five–both for voter turnout and the final United Russia figures. The analysis by chemist Maxim Pshenchnikov and LiveJournal blogeer nicknamed Podmoskovnik offer mathematicval proof of either election fraud or extemely anomalous voter behavior. According to Konstantin Sonin, an economist, “it is a study that explicitly demonstrates that the results were manipulated.”

The blogger analysis says disributioin of numbers appears normal until it hits the figure of 51% which at time it begins reporting round numbers. United Russia received 89% of the vote at 633 polling stations but 927 stations reported 90% figures. They found spikes that concide in several round number including 75%, 80% and 90%. Their conclusion is the United Party should have received 63% of the vote and obtained 277 sets instead of the 300 needed for a constitutional majority.

Far be it for this blog to interpret this report as constituting any form of voter fraud on the part of the Putin government. We failed math in college and must abide by the mathematical conclusions of United Russia that all good things end in round numbers.

Flash! Surprise! Putin Agrees To Serve As Prime Minister!

In a move that surprised the entire Russian population, if not the world, President Vladmir Putin told the United Russia party he would serve as prime minister under Dimitry Medvedev who is expected to be elected president of the nation. Putin also promised not to alter the current system of power distribution in which the president has greater say in the operation of the government. This promise is undoubtedly one that is guaranteed to be broken once Putin becomes prime minister of the nation. In one sense, allowing the prime minister to have greater power than the president may work toward the development of democracy in Russia. If Russia evolves into a parliamentary democracy it means future presidents will have to run as a member of a political party and make clear who will be their choice for prime minister.

Ironically, Putin’s power grab means the Russian president will lose power and the prime minister who is selected by a political party has greater power. It also means if a political party loses confidence in the prime minister they can replace their choice.

Putin Names Medvedev Next President Of Russia

In a surprising move, President Vladmir Putin publicly announced his choice of First Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev as the next president of Russia. Due to Putin’s overwhelming popularity there is little doubt his choice will be elected in elections to be held in a few months. Medvedev was announced as the choice of United Russia, and Putin added, “I completely and fully support this proposal.” According to Lila Shevtsova of the Carnegie Moscow Center, “Medvedev is not an extremist. He is not known for any kind of harsh views on politics, and apparently Medvedev better suits Putin’s view of how to achieve continuity.”

The real issue is what will Putin do now that he has essentially selected the next president of Russia. Will Putin try to become prime minister and use that position to maintain his power? Will he gracefully step off the stage of power and allow a new person to assume that position? The selection of Medvedev marks the end of anyone running Russia who lacks ties to the old Soviet system. Putin was a KGB man and placed hundreds of fellow KGB people in important government positions. If Medvedev assumes power will he edn the KGB’s power within the Russian government? There are many questions without answers.

Russian Political Opposition Cries-Rigged Election!

Leaders of opposition parties to President Putin’s United Russia party insist election results do not reflect the actual manner in which the Russian people voted. Gennady Zyuganov, head of the Communist Party, claimed his own examination of local polling stations indicated his party should have obtained at least 15% of the vote instead of the reported 11.1%. Given Putin’s complete domination of the media, it was remarkable that his party even secured that many votes. A similar feeling was expressed by Vladmir Zhrinovsky, head of the Liberal Democrats whose party obtained 8.8% although his reports indicated they should have gotten at least 12% of the vote. In one of the most ironic statements to emanate from modern Russia, Zyugaov, whose party still adheres to communist ideas, stated: “We are the last remaining guarantee of the freedom os pseech, democracy and human rights n our country.” We have come a long way from the totalitarian regime of the Soviet Union to present day Putin Russia when communists are upholding principles of democracy!

Russian Election Results Known Before Election

President Vladmir Putin has set in motion an impressive election machine that will guarantee his United Russia party will gain at least 70% of the votes in this week’s election. United Russia has completely dominated what is reported on television. They have received 60% of news coverage in prime time and recent debates between members of other political parties was shown at 7:00 am and at midnight leading to only 1.5% of Russians ever seeing the event. According to Federal Election Chief, Vladmir Churov commented when asked about the limited exposure by TV to other political parties, “if a party does nothing, how can we expect the media to cover it?” Of course, whatever United Russia does must, by definition, be something of worth. Golos, an independent national election observer, is concerned at the incredible increase in the number of absentee ballots which probably is due to pressure from employers that their workers vote for United Russia and by having absentee ballots they can check to see they vote the right way. Golos has received 1,131 phone calls in which 43% of callers complain about election abuses that favor United Russia.

Vladmir Putin is an intelligent manipulator of elections. He avoids brutal actions and works behind the scene to ensure his party will score an impressive victory. Perhaps, President Musharraf can learn something from him about how to win while, technically, being legal.

The End Of Russian Democracy- Putin Rules Forever!

Quiet reigns in Russia after last weekend’s brutal clamp down on Garry Kasporov,a leading dissident and opponent of Vladmir Putin. The European press was shocked at the open brutality displayed by Russian police toward a peaceful demonstration of people who were waving banners saying, “Russia Without Putin.” Apparently, even such a mild form of dissident behavior is cause for a major assault on people. Baton wielding police charged into the demonstration and arrested 200 people including Kasporov and the former vice premier of Russia, Boris Nemzov. As Germany’s Die Tageszeittung noted in a blistering editorial against the Russian leader, “Moscow has now permanently discredited itself in the eyes of the world.”

The question bothering many experts is why has Putin taken such a drastic open policy of crushing any form of disagreement with his rule. There is scant doubt his United Russia party will garner about 70% of the vote and no major opposition party will get more than about a 7% share of votes. Why is he so firm in refusing to allow even the semblance of a democratic society? The charade is now over, Russia is under the control of a one man government, something Russians thought ended with the downfall of communism.