A House Divided: the Russian Opposition & the 2011 Elections

As chatter among observers of Russian politics reaches a crescendo on the ‘Putin or Medvedev’ presidential question, another tournament quickly approaches. On December 4, 2011, the 450 seats in Russia’s parliament are up for grabs in national elections. Now that the Justice Ministry has rejected the official registration of the liberal party PARNAS, Russia’s democratic …

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“And to What Purpose Could Dead Souls Be Put?” PARNAS vs the Justice Ministry

On June 22, 2011, Russia’s Justice Ministry rejected the opposition’s latest attempt to register an official political party. The People’s Freedom Party “For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption,” otherwise known as PARNAS, was officially turned away for a small handful of reasons. The most discussed issue has been the presence of “dead souls” on PARNAS’ …

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Aleksei Naval’nyi, Virtual Mayor of Moscow

Earlier this month, Kommersant and Gazeta.ru banded together for an online “virtual election” for the next mayor of Moscow. Of course, that honor has since gone to Sergei Sobianin (who placed 7th in the online competition). There were ten candidates altogether, plus an “against all” option. The clear winner, taking more than 45% of the …

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Who Is the Face of the Russian Opposition?

[Прочитать статью на русском языке здесь.] This last Sunday, Russia held its latest round of local elections. Ninety-three percent of the country’s regions (77 of 83) went to the ballot box to vote on mayors, regional parliaments, municipal authorities, and so on. Not surprisingly, United Russia won nearly everywhere, taking slightly more than half of …

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Russian Defamation Law, or How Yuri Luzhkov Made 1 Million Rubles

With the death of Vera V. Trifonova, the world has again turned its attention to the Motherland’s legal system. For the most part, the current frenzy has focused on the fatal shortcomings of Russia’s pre-trial detention practices in white-collar criminal cases. Without going into the details of the stories surrounding Trifonova, Sergey Magnitsky, or Bill …

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The Kaliningrad Buzz

In the last week or so, an unusual number of American media outlets have hosted, tweeted, retweeted, and otherwise regurgitated the ramblings and ruminations of Russia’s liberal elite. Boris Nemtsov scored an interview with Time Magazine, Kasparov graced the pages of Radio Free Europe, Nemtsov swung by Washington for a mixer with the Republican foreign …

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