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« Russia Macro-Politics: New Investment Season…Getting Better or Worse? | Main | RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP »

September 24, 2013

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R.C.

In my opinion, the turnout in the Moscow mayoral elections were still too painfully low to really draw conclusions on the efficacy of democracy either way. Though the elections were mostly clean, true to form, Navalny took it upon himself to claim that he was robbed. I agree with what Alexander Mercouris has written on his and Mark Chapman's blog that if Sobyanin had gotten off his ass and actually campaigned, he would've brought his electorate out who simply stayed home - and the low turnout is indicative of this fact. Sobyanin probably would've won an even higher percentage of the vote had he campaigned, but the fact that he remained home and still managed to avoid a run-off tells me that the opposition movement in Moscow (where most of their popularity resides) still has a ways to go - not to mention the rest of the country where they'll have the arduous task of convincing the Russian public that they are working on behalf of Russian interests and not those of a foreign power who would love to see Russia subjugated to vassal status like most of Europe.

Regarding Navalny's sentencing: Hopefully, he will be given probation or a much lighter sentence. However, I am not a fan of simply letting someone off because of who they are because it then places that person above the law.

The NGO law WAS a good idea, but badly conceived and too far-reaching. I'm glad that the Russian government is scaling it back. Let's keep in mind that there is BRAZEN interference by western NGO's in Russia's political affairs of the sort that the USA would not tolerate for a second if it were the reverse. I think that purely Scientific, cultural & environmental Organizations should be exempt - the target should be limited exclusively to POLITICAL groups receiving foreign funding.

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