Friday, March 2, 2012

Russia's presidential election: rigging is a delicate art

"Four days before the presidential elections in Russia, REN TV a pro-Kremlin television channel warned what life would be like without Vladimir Putin. The doomsday scenario goes like this: crowds rejoice in Moscow's Sakharov Avenue as the Duma and presidential elections are cancelled; a provisional government is formed and to the victors go the spoils – Boris Nemtsov takes over Gazprom, Alexei Navalny's wife the foreign trade bank. Russia's nuclear arsenal is handed over to the US. Economic crisis soon erupts. Thousands of companies go bust. The provisional government closes Avtovaz, the giant motor works in Tolyatti. Riots and ethnic clashes break out in major cities. Kaliningrad, Tatarstan, Bashkiria and Yakutia secede. The republics of the North Caucasus set up an Islamic state. Civil war erupts. Georgia retakes South Ossetia. Navalny flees to the US, but not without a Nobel prize for his pains. The clip ends: "Russia without Putin? You choose." " [The Guardian]

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