Spanish Pundit (II)

diciembre 16, 2007

La Rusia post-Putin: más Putin, más represión y más misiles

Así titula Christian Science Monitor su artículo sobre Putin y la elección de Medvedev como su sucesor:

Mr. Putin has endorsed a young loyalist and admirer who owes his career as first deputy prime minister and head of the state gas monopoly to his mentor. That Mr. Medvedev is a former law professor and not a former KGB man (as Putin is), makes him easier to control, because he has no powerful security faction to defend him.

Of course, the youthful Medvedev – slimmer, more dapper, and a more polished speaker than a year ago – still needs to be elected. But with the state and Putin (now one and the same) behind him, that’s a done deal.

Exactly how Putin will perpetuate his influence is immaterial. He might become prime minister after his two terms as president expire next year, as Medvedev this week proposed. He might not. But Putin should be taken at his word that he intends to exercise power based on his “moral mandate,” which is firmly anchored in his overwhelming popularity.

This week, analysts characterized Medvedev as a milder Putin with democratic credentials and a more cooperative attitude toward the West. Somehow, his Deep Purple rock-music collection is supposed to buttress this view, but remember, Yuri Andropov loved American jazz, and what difference did that make?

Medvedev’s comments this week point to continuity, not divergence, from the Russia that Putin has built. He praised his friend’s eight-year record, saying Putin had rescued the country from “collapse” and “civil war.” The world’s attitude toward Russia has also changed, he said. “We are not being treated like schoolchildren. People respect us and reckon with us.”

¿Se hizo con Rusia algo parecido a Alemania después de la I Guerra Mundial? Esa búsqueda del orgullo patrio, es algo que muchos rusos afirman. Habría que considerarlo, pero en estas cosas siempre hay más de victimismo que de realidad objetiva.

Más sobre esta cuestión: The perils of Putinism:

The President has made himself indispensable to keeping the peace among his boyars. The 42-year-old Mr. Medvedev holds no sway over the influential Kremlin group of siloviky–the ex-KGB men around Mr. Putin, a KGB colonel himself–or the security services as a whole. To them, as well presumably to Mr. Putin, Mr. Medvedev’s remarkable features are his loyalty and lack of any evident charisma. An added bonus for Mr. Putin is that his choice of sidekick-in-chief was hailed abroad as a “liberal”–which is only true compared to the other candidates floated in recent months. Mr. Medvedev’s first comments Tuesday were so deferential to Mr. Putin that no doubt was left about who will stay boss.

Eso sí, todavía hay algunos que dicen [link in English] que la democracia rusa “es un trabajo en desarrollo“. La verdad es que cada vez se distancia más de cualquier tipo de democracia conocida, al no haber oposición y los partidos más importantes, encabezados por “United Russia”, el partido de Putin y su más del 60% de apoyo en las últimas elecciones, son todos favorables al Kremlin, salvo los desdentados comunistas.

Tanto se está alejando de la democracia que hay otro activista anti-Putin ingresado en una clínica psiquiátrica:

Artem Basyrov, 20, was detained by two plainclothes officers and ordered held in a hospital in the central region of Mari El on Nov. 23, a day before a planned demonstration, said Alexander Averin, of the opposition National Bolshevik Party. The party is part of the Other Russia coalition, which organized the so-called “Dissenters Marches” around Russia. Basyrov had run for the local legislature as an Other Russia candidate.

A local psychiatric board agreed with police, who alleged that said Basyrov had assaulted a girl, and concluded he was suffering from some mental illness. Basyrov was finally transferred from an isolation ward and allowed to have visitors on Thursday, said Mikhail Klyuzhev, a National Bolshevik member from the city of Yoshkar-Ola. Basyrov was still being held in the hospital Friday. Klyuzhev called the allegations “idiocy.”

Se le acusa de haber asaltado a una chica y después se le declara loco y se le ingresa en un psiquiátrico. Todo muy conveniente teniendo en cuenta que el chico (sólo tiene 20 años) se había presentado a las legislativas y es uno de los que tradicionalmente organizan “Marchas de Disidentes” por Rusia. Su partido es precisamente Otra Rusia, el partido de Kasparov, que ha sido eliminado de la política al no poder arrendar una sala en Moscú para la convención del partido Otra Rusia h/t The Moderate Voice:

After a campaign run mostly as a protest of the regime’s near autocratic succession system, Mr. Kasparov has been forced out of the race for failing to rent a hall in Moscow in which to hold his party’s nominating convention. Though a spokesman claims that the city-wide refusal to rent a space to Mr. Kasparov’s party, Other Russia, reflects an explicit order from above, it’s just as likely that property owners are simply smart enough not to risk entangling themselves with Mr. Kasparov’s coalition of opposition figures at a time when the Putin government is decreasingly tolerant of dissent.

Una caso semejante al ocurrido con la periodista rusa Larisa Arap hace unos meses, por ejemplo. Al menos ella fue liberada a los pocos días.

Para que veamos otro efecto más del problema demográfico ruso (que ya vimos respecto de China), resulta que cada vez hay más rusos musulmanes que van a la peregrinación a la Meca:

MOSCOW: Gulsine Fatakhudinova, a 56-year-old Tatar Muslim, came lugging suitcases to pray at the lime-green mosque in central Moscow – one of dozens of people who arrived one recent day, bundled in weighty coats, fur hats and other winter garb that they would soon cast off, at least temporarily.

Barred by the Soviets for decades from carrying out the most sacred rite of Islam, they were among the tens of thousands of Russian Muslims traveling this year to Saudi Arabia to join the masses in Mecca for the annual pilgrimage, or hajj, to one of Islam’s holiest sites. Their numbers have swelled in the past several years, thanks largely to Russia’s growing wealth and increasing stability in the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus region, including Chechnya, where the effects of nearly a decade of war have begun to fade.

[…] The Soviet government allowed just 18 people a year to make the trip, said Rushan Abbyasov, director of international relations at the Russian Council of Muftis. Now, the only restrictions on the number of pilgrims come from Saudi Arabia, which is host to the hajj.

This year, the Saudis increased the quota for Russian pilgrims to 26,000 people from 20,000, and despite estimated costs of $2,000 to $3,000 per person for the trip, Abbyasov said, all visas allotted for this year have been claimed. Chechnya is sending about 3,000 pilgrims for the five-day pilgrimage, which began Sunday.

Durante el régimen soviético, sólo se permitía hacer la peregrinación a la Meca a 18 personas al año. Ahora sólo impone restricciones Arabia Saudí, que este año ha incrementado la cuota de 20.000 a 26.000 personas. Y, a pesar de un coste de entre 2.000 y 3.000 personas por viaje, todas las plazas se han cubierto. Chechenia ha mandado a 3000 peregrinos para los 5 días de peregrinación.

Curioso, el dato de Chechenia, teniendo en cuenta el altísimo nivel de desempleo de esta república rusa:

The level of unemployment is high, hovering between 60 and 70 percent. Despite economic improvements, smuggling and bartering still comprise a significant part of Chechnya’s economy.[8]

Como siempre, sería interesante saber cómo han conseguido dinero para el viaje. Pero no nos preocupemos que no se investigará (I would like that the origin of the funds to do such trips would be investigated).

¿Influirá el nuevo presidente en la postura sobre Serbia? Lo más seguro es que no. El presidente serbio Boris Serbia's President Boris Tadic speaks at a news conference after a meeting with Kosovo leaders at the European Council headquarters in Brussels November 20, 2007. (Yves Herman/Reuters)Tadic ya ha dicho que espera que Rusia, China y otros defiendan nuevas conversaciones a lo que la Unión Europea y EEUU han dicho que todas las vías de diálogo se han agotado:

Reuters – Serbia’s President expects Russia, China and some other U.N. Security Council members to back further talks on the status of Kosovo, though the West says all avenues of possible compromise have been exhausted.

Lo que sí ha hecho ya Rusia es ordenar una nueva remesa de misiles intercontinentales:

Russia’s military has commissioned another batch of new intercontinental ballistic missiles — nuclear weapons officials boast can penetrate any prospective missile shield, reports said Sunday.

The announcement comes amid tensions between Moscow and Washington over U.S. plans for missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The three new Topol-M missiles are capable of hitting targets more than 6,000 miles away and, mounted on a heavy off-road vehicle, are harder for an enemy to track it down, officials said.

[…]The Topol-M’s chief designer, Yuri Solomonov, has said the missile drops its engines at a significantly lower altitude than earlier designs, making it hard for an enemy’s early warning system to detect the launch.

He said the missiles’ warhead and decoys closely resembled one another in flight, making it extremely difficult for a foe to select the real target from a multitude of false ones.

¿Que por qué es importante? Porque los tres nuevos misiles Topol-M son capaces de alcanzar objetivos a más de 6.000 kilómetros de distancia en un vehículo pesado en movimiento y son más difíciles de interceptar para un enemigo, incluso para el planeado escudo anti-misiles EEUU.

El diseñador de los misiles Topol-M ha añadido que pueden volar muy bajo, lo que les hace especialmente invisibles al radar. A ello se une que su cabeza es muy parecida a cualquier otro misil, lo que les convierte en prácticamente indetectables si son lanzados con varios falsos.

A esto se han añadido las amenazas por parte del Jefe del Estado Mayor ruso, diciendo que si alguna vez se usan los misiles de EEUU en Europa del Este, Rusia podría atacar con sus misiles:

The planned deployment of US interceptor missiles in Poland could trigger a missile strike by Russia if those missiles are ever used, the Russian army’s chief of staff has warned.

“We are talking about the possibility of a retaliatory strike being triggered by the mistaken classification of an interceptor missile,” Yury Baluyevsky said at a press conference broadcast on state television.

Como no puede ser de otra forma, Bielorrusia ha apoyado a Rusia en esta cuestión.

The announcement was made by Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko at a news conference ending President Vladimir Putin’s first official visit in Minsk since 2003. Lukashenko also said he would work with Russia on the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, which limits weapons levels on the continent.

A ello se añade que Rusia ya ha anunciado que no piensa dar ninguna información sobre sus armas a la UE mientras esté congelado el acuerdo de no proliferación.

Russia will not provide data on its Armed Forces stipulated under the CFE treaty at an annual information exchange meeting on Friday, a Russian diplomatic source said.

The signatories to the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty will gather in Austrian capital, Vienna, to exchange documents containing data on the number of main battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery pieces, combat aircraft and attack helicopters deployed in Europe.

“Russia’s moratorium on its participation in the CFE treaty makes this information exchange impossible for us,” said a Russian source at the headquarters of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Y ha amenazado con salirse también del Tratado de Armas Nucleares de Rango Intermedio… por China e Irán (pero ¿estos no eran tannnnnnnnnnnnnnn pacíficos?):

“The Russians are concerned that it only applies to the United States and Russia – so its neighbors, such as China and others even further south such as Iran, develop ballistic missiles that Russia is forbidden from developing,” he explained. “So it says that is unfair, we should reevaluate this treaty and we may have to get out of it if other countries don’t also forswear these missiles.”

Extremadamente peligroso. En una zona altamente explosiva. Y con un tráfico de drogas y de armas creciente en las Repúblicas centro-asiáticas, movidas por las Mafias rusas. Sobre eso ya escribiré, pero es algo de suma importancia para el momento en que vivimos.

Posts anteriores:

  1. Y Putin eligió a su sucesor.
  2. Rusia: denuncias generalizadas de fraude electoral. Y Sarkozy haciendo el CANISIO. Ni siquiera Moratinos ha sido tan tonnnnnnnto (o tan lisssssto…. que los negocios es lo que tienen).
  3. La Rusia neo-soviética una realidad tras arrasar Putin.
  4. Elecciones en Rusia: el resultado arrollador de Putin (II).
  5. Putin: las encuestas preconizan un resultado arrollador.
  6. David “Pepiño” Miliband. El impulsor de la “Unión UE-Rusia-Oriente Medio-Norte de África“… Claro, hmm, todos los problemas del mundo dentro de la UE. ¿Por qué no una unión de todos los planetas? Excluyendo, eso sí, a EEUU, que, como se sabe, son mú malosos…
  7. Rusia quiere ganar la Guerra Fría 30 años después de perderla.
  8. Russia limits election observers and breaks weapons’ control agreement with EU.
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diciembre 11, 2007

Y Putin eligió a su sucesor

El presidente ruso, Vladimir Putin, ha expresado su apoyo para que el viceprimer ministro, Dmitri Medvédev, presente su candidatura a las elecciones presidenciales del próximo 2 de marzo.

Putin declaró este apoyo en una reunión con representantes del partido Rusia Unida, cuya lista encabezó en las elecciones parlamentarias del 2 de diciembre, y de otros tres partidos.

Las formaciones expresaron a Putin su apoyo a Medvédev.

Se acabó la especulación

En los últimos meses se ha estado especulando con quién sería el sucesor de Putin, ya que el presidente no puede optar por ley a un tercer mandato.

Se preveía que eligiera entre Medvédev, abogado y presidente de la junta del gigante gasístico estatal Gazprom, y Sergei Ivanov, otro viceprimer ministro y que previamente fue ministro de Defensa.

Sobre Medvedev, leed Un tecnócrata a imagen y semejanza de Putin @

Notes on Russian democracy: Assessing the recent Duma elections @ The Moderate Voice.

First, and most obviously, this was a huge blow for Russian democrats. Putin’s party, United Russia, pulled in over 60% of the vote and they now hold 2/3rds of the seats in parliament, enough to override the objections of all other dissenting parties. The only significant opposition party that got over the 7% threshold was the Communist party, which is not considered to be a major threat (nor a strong proponent of democracy). The more moderate Yabloko party and the Union of Right Forces — which have presented the most organized opposition to Putin’s agenda — were both kicked out of the Duma entirely.

En España no se ha hablado mucho de la explosión que tuvo lugar en Rusia el pasado domingo que mató a dos personas. Sin embargo, las autoridades no han dicho absolutamente nada de las causas del siniestro: puede ser un acto terrorista o puede ser que haya explotado una bombona de gas:

Interfax quoted an unnamed source in the security services in the Stavropol region as saying the explosion may have been a “terrorist” act but may also have been caused by an exploding gas canister.

Stavropol borders Russia’s north Caucasus, a volatile region wracked by violence and centered around Chechnya, which has fought two wars against Russia since 1994.

Nashi, el partido “para los jóvenes” de United Russia, el de Putin, sigue incorporando adeptos: ahora van a por los niños:

If Nashi can be likened to the Komsomol, the Soviet-era organization of high school and university students, then Mishki is a throwback to the Pioneers, the children’s group of the same period that survives today — except many of the “children” were old enough to shave. Their essential purpose, just like Nashi, is to support Putin. “I love the Mishki! I love Russia! I love Putin! Together, we will win!” children’s voices boomed from speakers set up on Vasilyevsky Spusk, near Red Square, during the morning Nashi rally.

Sobre los Nashi podeis leer aquí:

Activists circulated through the crowd, handing out a leaflet warning that the United States was trying to sabotage Putin’s triumph. A cartoon, drawn in the style of a Soviet propaganda poster, depicts a sinister Uncle Sam sitting on sacks of money with names of Russian opposition leaders written on them. “They wanted traitors and thieves to win,” the text says. “Between Dec. 3 and 6, before the official announcement of the election’s result, [the traitors] will try to seize squares and buildings, provoke disorder, take our victory from us.”

Ellos, los que no piensan igual son traidores, a quienes pagan los yanquis. ¿A qué me suena esto?

Y, por supuesto sigue persiguiendo a la oposición [English]:

All three campaigns – the two previous and the one current – have in common the manner in which the authorities conducted themselves: with massive violations of the law, including laws adopted by the very same authorities; theatric shows with elements of psychosis (según parece, ponían música patriótica en los cabinas de votación); the prevention of political opponents from participating in the elections; and intimidation, violence and terror – right up to the jailing of political opponents. While the degree of viciousness and scale of the authorities’ illegal actions still falls short of events in the USSR and Germany seventy years ago, there can be no doubt about the direction in which the present regime is evolving.

Hmm, la Rusia de Putin cada vez se parece más a la de la película El Santo… Eso sí, como no podía ser menos, Sarkozy, después de lo de la Unión Mediterránea y el medio-perdón-a-ver-si-me-llevo-los-contratos-de-gas por la colonización francesa en Argelia, tuvo que volver a meter la pata [English] desde el punto de vista internacional, después de haber pedido democracia para Rusia:

La Unión Europea se mostró el martes dividida por las elecciones parlamentarias rusas, ampliamente criticadas, después de que el presidente francés, Nicolas Sarkozy, telefoneara a su colega Vladimir Putin para felicitarle.

El gesto del líder francés lo enfrentó con Alemania (¡¡¡bien por Merkel!!!), que describió rotundamente la elección como “ni justa, ni libre, ni democrática” de acuerdo a los patrones occidentales.

La mayoría del resto de gobiernos de la UE expresaron su preocupación por las informaciones de irregularidades.

También pareció ir en contra de las críticas de su propio Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, que se hizo eco de las objeciones de los pocos observadores europeos a los que se permitió seguir el proceso

¿Que por qué ha hecho esto? Por lo mismo que no criticó con dureza a la dictadura birmana (fue mucho más duro Gordón): al igual que nuestro líder cósmico, también quiere incrementar las relaciones con la Rusia de Putin. También es posible que el NIE de EEUU [Enlish] (ya bloguearé sobre esta cuestión, muy importante por las consecuencias y sobre todo por si podemos o no fiarnos de la inteligencia americana) en el que se dice que Irán ya no es un peligro nuclear (hasta que decida volver a producir armas nucleares) haya tenido algo que ver, porque es lo que más les enfrentó [English] durante la visita de Sarkozy a Rusia.

Las últimas noticias son que Putin quiere además constituir un Estado conjunto con Bielorrusia [English], la única dictadura de Europa.

Para confirmar aún más, el estilo dictatorial de Putin, podemos leer en la Russophobe [English] que Putin ha impulsado medidas para controlar internet, de lo que ya he hablado antes. Pero en este caso es especialmente importante: uno de los oligarcas de Putin, Alexander Mamut compró el servicio público Six Apart- LiveJournal en ruso. El problema es que no sólo los rusos escriben en ruso y, por tanto, Putin estaría controlando también a los usuarios de LiveJournal que, viviendo fuera de Rusia, escriban en ruso:

the question here is what will happen if relations between the United States and Russia continue to deteriorate — American SixApart customers using the Russian language will find that their online archives are effectively under foreign jurisdiction. After all, the Putin government hasn’t exactly been kind to their media critics.

[…]”Mr. Rykov is pro-Kremlin. Mamut and Sup are pro-Kremlin. The social networks are all being bought by pro-Kremlin people,” Ruslan Paushu, 30, a popular blogger who works for Rykov, said in an interview. “Everything’s okay.”

Más en el Opinador Compulsivo.

Pero la victoria de Putin es posible que haya tenido otro efecto interesante: la posición de China respecto de Irán ha variado ligeramente:

Well, if the United States, the European Union, and CNN are worried that Putin’s Russia will increasingly flex geopolitical muscles at the expense of its neighbors, Beijing is not going to miss the point. China may want to maintain good relations with Iran for no end of economic reasons, but if the price is a Russian breakout into the Persian Gulf even the Chinese might think it is too expensive. The last thing the world needs is a nuclear Iran with even a hint of a Russian security guarantee, and the Chinese know it.

¿Es esto cierto o simplemente es un espejismo? Sería curioso (y bastante bueno para todos) que el enfrentamiento EEUU-Rusia llevara a un enfrentamiento China-Rusia. Personalmente, no creo que Rusia se distancie mucho de China por Siberia. Deberá elegir entre Irán y China. Y no podrá entretenerse mucho

Dmitry Medvedev, left, and President Vladimir Putin of Russia in a photo from March. (Pool photo by Natalia Kolesnikova)

In English:

Putin’s backing of Medvedev likely to boost Russian markets
MarketWatch – 34 minutes ago
By Polya Lesova, marketwatch NEW YORK (marketwatch) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s endorsement Monday of the presidential candidacy of Dmitry Medvedev, the chairman of oil giant Gazprom, will likely boost the Russian equity markets,
Video: Putin names his candidate for presidency RussiaToday

  1. Putin Names Choice for Succession @ IHT.
  2. Editorial: Chapter One Ends Today, Chapter Two will begin tomorrow @ La Russophobe.
  3. Russia says it must have nuclear parity with US @ Reuters.
  4. Russia launches first naval power build-up station in the Mediterranean in response to the US about – face in Iran @ NoisyRoom.Net.
  5. Putin and Chávez: Election Fraud and Election Defeat @ Confessions of a Closet Republican.

Posts anteriores:

  1. Rusia: denuncias generalizadas de fraude electoral. Y Sarkozy haciendo el CANISIO. Ni siquiera Moratinos ha sido tan tonnnnnnnto (o tan lisssssto…. que los negocios es lo que tienen).
  2. La Rusia neo-soviética una realidad tras arrasar Putin.
  3. Elecciones en Rusia: el resultado arrollador de Putin (II).
  4. Putin: las encuestas preconizan un resultado arrollador.
  5. David “Pepiño” Miliband. El impulsor de la “Unión UE-Rusia-Oriente Medio-Norte de África“… Claro, hmm, todos los problemas del mundo dentro de la UE. ¿Por qué no una unión de todos los planetas? Excluyendo, eso sí, a EEUU, que, como se sabe, son mú malosos…
  6. Rusia quiere ganar la Guerra Fría 30 años después de perderla.
  7. Russia limits election observers and breaks weapons’ control agreement with EU.

diciembre 3, 2007

Rusia: denuncias generalizadas de fraude electoral (+)

Filed under: dictadura,elections,Neo-Soviet,Russia — Nora @ 4:30 pm

Denuncias generalizadas de fraude electoral (video).

Más en BBC Mundo.

Las elecciones del domingo “no fueron justas y no cumplieron muchos de las obligaciones y estándares para elecciones democráticas de la OSCE y el Consejo de Europa”, afirmaron los observadores en una rueda de prensa en Moscú.

Agregaron que los comicios “tuvieron lugar en un ambiente que limita seriamente la competencia política” y que “no hubo igualdad de condiciones”.

[…] La OSCE se había quejado al gobierno de Moscú de imponer restricciones inaceptables y retrasar deliberadamente la entrega de visas a sus funcionarios, por lo que sólo 330 observadores pudieron atender los comicios para cubrir cerca de 100.000 centros de votación.

Los comunistas son los únicos opositores que consiguieron suficientes votos para superar el 7% necesario para tener representación parlamentaria ya que los otros dos partidos que consiguieron pasar este listón están situados en la órbita del presidente.

BlogBis dice:

Estoy esperando la reacción airada de los grandes demócratas de la izquierda que aman a Putin. como amaron a Stalin, a Pol Pot, a Castro, a Chávez, a Ahmadinejad y a todo miserable que esté contra los Estados Unidos.

El Opinador Compulsivo:

Qué importa que los observadores internacionales aseguren que no fueron limpios. Son todos agentes a sueldo de la CIA y la Mossad.

Puede que los contenedores sin sellar tuvieran algo que ver h/t Sugiero. Foto: Dagbladet.

Pero eso sí, la “Generación Putincelebra los resultados (da igual que haya fraude…): alrededor de 10.000 miembros del movimiento Nachi, una rama militante de partidarios jóvenes de Vladimir Putin, se han reunido hoy en Moscú para celebrar los resultados de las legislativas.

Spiegel Online señala que el fraude fue generalizado porque no se entiende por ejemplo que en Chechenia o Ingushetia,con un elevadísimo nivel de paro, votase el 98 o el 99%, lo que sugiere que se ha vuelto al tiempo de las manipulaciones soviéticas. Alrededor de un 69% de los rusos decían que las elecciones iban a estar manipuladas antes de que tuvieran lugar y el 94% señala que saben que no tienen ninguna influencia en la vida política del país.

Pero sin duda lo más (o menos, según se mire) sorprendente es:

Al mismo tiempo, un tercio de los rusos mantienen que el sistema soviético es mejor que la democracia occidental.

Pues no se preocupen, que Putin va a ayudarles a volver al sistema soviético.

(+) La comunidad internacional está seriamente preocupada por las denuncias de fraude:

  • Alemania: no han sido elecciones libres.
  • EEUU: Bush no felicitará a Putin.
  • Paris quiere “toda la luz” sobre las legislativas rusas.
  • Italia ha llamado a clarificar el resultado.
  • El primer ministro polaco está inquieto por las posibles irregularidades.
  • A Lituania no le sorprendió la victoria de Rusia Unida.
  • Austria cree que una glaciación democrática se abate sobre Rusia.
  • La OTAN desea continuar seguir trabajando con Rusia.

Fraud claims in Russia poll (video inside).

Opposition parties say there’s been widespread fraud and intimidation in Russia’s parliamentary elections.

More in Yahoo! Reuters:

The Communists, Liberals and foreign observers criticized the vote as unfair. Opposition leader Garry Kasparov, the ex-chess champion, denounced the vote Monday as “the most unfair and dirtiest in the whole history of modern Russia.”

But Putin and his allies praised the result as an overwhelming endorsement of his leadership and policies.

“Of course it’s a sign of trust,” Putin said in televised remarks. “Russians will never allow the nation to take a destructive path, as happened in some other ex-Soviet nations.”

The election followed a tense Kremlin campaign that relied in part on persuasion and intimidation to ensure a rout for United Russia and the president, who has used Russia’s energy riches in an effort to restore Moscow’s influence on the global stage.

The Belmont Club:

He has created really an authoritarian system, in which he is like a hill in the desert, and nobody is around,” Mr. Yavlinsky said. “Now time has come to make a transfer of power, and he really, really has no idea how to do that. And nobody else has any idea. And his character is such that he has no confidence in anybody.” Still, not everyone believes that the disquiet will last.

Maybe unsealed containers had something to do about the irregularities…

Photo: Dagbladet.

Anyway, the so-called “Putin’s Generation” has celebrated the result:

Around 10,000 members of the Nachi movement, the young supporters of the President Putin,  have met in Moscow to celebrate the victory of the President in the legislative elections yesterday.

Spiegel Online about Russian elections:

Opposition parties meanwhile failed miserably. Yabloko and SPS, both liberal parties, hardly managed to win more than 1 percent of the vote and will not send representatives to the Duma, Russia’s parliament. Indeed, the only halfway independent party to make it over the 7 percent hurdle — the result parties have to achieve to be able to send representatives to the Duma — were the Communists. But even they have often shown themselves to be loyal to Putin, particularly when it comes to foreign policy.

The vote for Putin was particularly strong in Chechnya and Ingushetia. The voter turnout of 99 and 98 percent respectively points to a revival of Soviet manipulation practices. No one in Russia believes that Putin and his party are more popular in impoverished villages in the Caucasus plagued by rampant unemployment.

Indeed, many seem to think that the Kremlin may have overdone things. It’s not just the opposition that is unimpressed. Discomfort with the election is evident in wide swaths of Russian society, even including Russian security forces. The overwhelming majority of Russians, one survey puts it at 69 percent, suspected even before the election that the results would be manipulated. In a survey by Moscow’s Levada Institute, 94 percent of those polled said they had “absolutely no influence” on politics in their country.

Disdain for the West

At the same time the polls show that around a third of Russians think the Soviet system was better than Western democracy. The poverty and chaos that characterized much of the 1990s led to severe skepticism of political plurality in the country. Many were humiliated by the way US-friendly politicians allowed the country to be at the mercy of the International Monetary Fund.

Western-supported chaos on Russia’s borders, particularly in Ukraine and Georgia, have led many to further question foreign advice. When Putin points to Bush’s unhappy Baghdad expedition and announces that Russians don’t need “democracy like in Iraq,” he can be sure of their resounding approval.

United Russia party boss Boris Boris Gryzlov: “Of course there are violations, but the question is do they have an impact on the final result.” The fact that the violations were even discovered, he added, showed there was transparency in the Russian election.

Monitors denounce Russia elections @ BBC.

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