Feature

Russia: Corruption that insults our intelligence

The rigging of last week&rsquo;s local elections across the country was outrageous even by Russian standards, said Mikhail Rostovsky said <em>Moskovsky Komsomolets.</em>

Mikhail Rostovsky
Moskovsky Komsomolets

This time, the Kremlin has really gone too far, said Mikhail Rostovsky. The government always rigs elections to favor the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, and frankly, we expect nothing different. But the rigging of last week’s local elections across the country was outrageous even by Russian standards.

The official election results were patently “ridiculous.” In the district where the leader of the liberal Yabloko party votes, for example, that party did not get a single vote. Are we supposed to believe that the party leader voted against himself, as did his family and friends? “Come on!” That’s not respectable fraud, “it’s just laziness.” Even those who really did vote for United Russia are embarrassed by this farce. “Nobody likes to be deceived.”

At some point, the people will rise up, as they did in Ukraine and Georgia when those countries’ regimes became too corrupt. The resulting Orange Revolution in Ukraine and Rose Revolution in Georgia toppled the post-Soviet regimes. I’m not suggesting a “color revolution” will start in Russia “tomorrow, or the day after, or—please God—even the day after that.” But if the Kremlin continues treating voters like idiots, at some point they will “take to the squares.”

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