Post by TsarSamuil on May 18, 2016 15:16:40 GMT -5
Nuland Starts Moscow Visit by Meeting ‘Young Leaders’
RUSSIA 17:54 17.05.2016
US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland has arrived in Moscow with an official visit and has met with Russian young leaders, US Embassy in Moscow spokesperson Will Stevens said in a Twitter message on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier on Tuesday, the US Department of State announced that Nuland would meet with senior Russian officials to discuss the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine.
"A/S [Assistant Secretary] Nuland kicked off her trip to Moscow by meeting with some of Russia's young leaders at the American Center," Stevens stated.
Nuland has arrived in Moscow from Vienna, Austria, and will leave for Belgium on May 18, according to the State Department.
Post by TsarSamuil on May 26, 2016 17:58:29 GMT -5
Putin tops Russians’ trust ratings with 80% support.
RT.com 26 May, 2016 10:59
The latest public opinion poll has shown that 80 percent of Russians approve of Vladimir Putin’s work in general. Putin also topped the trust rating of Russian politicians followed by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
According to the research conducted by specialists of the independent Russian company Levada Center, 80 percent of Russians approve of the president’s performance. 19 percent of responders said they were not content with Putin’s presidential course and 1 percent described themselves as undecided.
The presidential approval rating has decreased slightly from the peak value of 89 percent registered in late June 2015.
When asked about their opinion on the work of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the Cabinet in general, 55 percent of Russians said that they considered it worthy of approval while 45 percent disagreed with this position. 2 percent of those polled could not give a direct answer to the question. The Lower House of the Russian parliament – the State Duma – currently enjoys support of 42 percent of citizens and 56 percent said that they disapproved of the lawmakers’ activities. Again, one percent of responders remained undecided over the issue.
Also, 49 percent of the Russian public told researchers that in their opinion the general course chosen by the country’s authorities was right and 33 percent hold that it is wrong. 18 percent found this question too difficult to answer.
When researchers asked who of Russian politicians enjoyed the most trust among the public, Vladimir Putin was first in the list with 53 percent, followed by Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu with 26 percent and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with 20 percent. 12 percent of Russians said they considered Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev the person most worthy of their trust and the same share of respondents trusted most Vladimir Zhirinovsky – the founder and all-time leader of the populist nationalist party LDPR.
A different poll conducted about one month ago by the government-owned research center VTSIOM also demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of Russians approved of the work of their president. It also showed that the number of Vladimir Putin supporters is high even among members of opposition parties.
According to VTSIOM, the share of Russians who said they are happy with Vladimir Putin’s performance as president was 82 percent in late April. Even more Russians – 84 percent – said they are ready to vote for Putin at the presidential elections.
According to the The Foundation for Development of Civil Society – the NGO that ordered the poll – the figures showed that the “pro-Putin majority” in Russia currently has significant influence on various public activities and the potential for expansion. The activists also said in comments that the results of the poll demonstrated that the next convocation of the State Duma, which will be elected in September, would be largely pro-Putin.
Russian Opposition Caught Filing into US Embassy in Moscow.
Russia Insider Jun 1, 2016
In mid-January 2012, just days after Michael McFaul arrived in Moscow to begin his stint as US Ambassador to Russia, Russian opposition leaders lined up outside the US Embassy (Russian) to meet him in a bizarre confab that reeked of both treason and duplicity.
Images: Caught red-handed – Russia’s opposition, long accused by the Kremlin of being foreign-funded, and who have well documented ties to the US State Department, are caught filing into the US Embassy in Moscow in January of 2012, just days after agitator Michael McFaul began his stint as US Ambassador to Russia. (click on image to enlarge)
Approached by journalists inquiring as to why they had all come to greet the US Ambassador, their responses ranged from silence to dismissive gibes. Later, the group of opposition leaders emerged responding only with “Вы сурковская пропаганда,” or “you’re Surkov’s propaganda,” meaning the journalists represented government efforts to undermine their work and legitimacy. It is a common response given by Russia’s opposition members when media attempts to question them about their increasingly overt ties to Wall Street and London.
Video: This video captured outside the US Embassy in Moscow, Russia, shows prominent leaders of Russia’s US-funded, backed, and directed opposition attending a confab with newly appointed US Ambassador Michael McFaul. Both the opposition leaders and McFaul himself are directly connected to the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED). ….
Present at the US Embassy confab were regular mainstays of the Western media’s coverage of anti-Vladimir Putin protests, including Boris Nemtsov, Yevgeniya Chirikova of the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funded “Strategy 31,” Lev Ponomarev of the NED, Ford Foundation, Open Society, and USAID-funded Moscow Helsinki Group, and Liliya Shibanova of NED-funded GOLOS, an allegedly “independent” election monitoring group that served as the primary source of accusations of voting fraud against Putin’s United Russia party. Clearly, this wasn’t the first time both words and cash had been exchanged between the Russian opposition and the US State Department, but is perhaps the most overt example of such flagrant conspiring yet.
NTV's investigative report revealing millions of our tax dollars were wasted in Russia again. The US State Department, CIA and MI6 financed opposition and launched a powerful campaign against the government of the Russian people. The revolution in Russia - is not a goal but a means. The means to save the hegemony of the United States.
Govt seeks ban on foreign-made internet messengers for civil servants, military - report.
RT.com 30 May, 2016 14:39
The Russian Economic Ministry has addressed Vladimir Putin with a proposal to oblige state officials and military servicemen to use only Russian-made internet messengers and email providers at work, promising that Russia’s own messaging software would soon be available.
Popular Russian business newspaper Kommersant Daily reported on Monday that it possessed a copy of the ministry’s report aimed at setting preferences for Russian-made computer hardware and software in government tenders.
The proposals detailed in the document include banning civil servants and the military from using foreign-made messenger applications, and expanding the ban on purchases of foreign software by state agencies to services and “software renting,” as well as the ban on spending the budget on foreign-made hardware when there are Russian analogues of similar quality. The ministry also proposed expanding the restrictions on state monopolies and companies partially owned by the Russian government.
According to Kommersant, if the amendments become law, foreign businesses stand to lose about 2.5 million Russian clients. In their existing form, the restrictions could apply to such applications as Gmail, WhatsApp, Skype and Telegram. However, the report reads that they could be replaced by messengers and email services developed by Russian internet holding Mail.ru, together with think tank the Institute for Development of the Internet.
On Monday, President Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, commented on the report, saying that no decisions on additional bans on software use had been made in the Kremlin. Peskov noted that in his view, it was not correct to use commercial messengers in state agencies because they did not offer sufficient protection from hacking, but that the situation had been already covered by the Law on State Secrets.
He also added that he was not aware of any attempts to develop Russia’s own messenger services that could be used for government and military purposes.
In November 2015, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree ordering the creation of a special register of software made by Russian companies. The document also ruled that state agencies can purchase imported programs only after they have proved that the register contains no analogues of what they need. The new rules came into force from January 1 this year.
In September 2015, the head of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, said that foreign-made software posed a system threat to national information security, and proposed that various officials immediately stop using Google and Yahoo email, as well as the WhatsApp messenger service, for work-related purposes.
In mid-2013, MP Ilya Kostunov of the parliamentary majority party United Russia addressed the heads of the Defense Ministry, Federal Security Service and the Communications Ministry with a proposal to immediately limit civil servants’ access to popular US internet services and social networks such as Gmail and Facebook. The lawmaker added that violators of this ban should be tried for high treason, which in Russia carries punishment of up to 20 years in prison. This request did not receive support among government agencies.
Putin signs NGO bill exempting charities from Russia’s ‘foreign agents law’
RT.com 3 Jun, 2016 09:54
The Russian president has signed into law a bill defining the term political activity of non-governmental organizations and allowing charity groups receiving funding from abroad not to register as foreign agents.
The new law lists political activity as participation in street rallies and marches and any activity aimed at influencing the result of an election or a referendum. The list also includes elections monitoring, participation in the work of political parties, public appeals to state agencies seeking changes in laws, circulating appraisals of existing laws or state policies and attempts to influence views on political issues through opinion polls.
The act also names the spheres where no activity can be recognized as political. These are culture, science, sport, fine arts, healthcare, environmental protection, volunteering and charity. Groups involved in these activities should not register as foreign agents even if they get foreign funding and at the same time participate in events seeking to influence the decisions of state bodies.
The bill was drafted by the Justice Ministry in January and passed by the lower and upper houses of parliament in late May. The move came after President Vladimir Putin last October ordered his administration to take measures aimed at defining political activities in Russia. Putin also personally promised human rights activists that the controversial law on foreign agents would be amended.
“The definition of political activity must not be vague, it must not be expandable, and there must be only one way to understand it. And in any case we should not fit anything that is not welcomed by representatives of the authorities or Justice Ministry or anyone else under this definition,” Putin told the members of the Presidential Council for Human Rights.
The Foreign Agents Law, introduced in late 2012, obliges all NGOs who receive funding from abroad and engaged in political activities to register as foreign agents or risk substantial fines. In November 2014, the law was expanded with a bill making it illegal for Russian political parties to receive sponsorship, or enter any business deals with NGOs with “foreign agent” status.
Many rights groups in Russia and abroad protested the move saying it would jeopardize their existence. The sponsors of the act and top Russian officials including President Putin have repeatedly emphasized that its main purpose was providing better information for voters, and that it would eventually benefit democracy.
Liberals Yabloko announce ‘alternative patriotism’ program for State Duma polls.
RT.com 4 Jul, 2016 14:41
Veteran Russian liberal party Yabloko has announced its candidates and program for the parliamentary elections, prioritizing the ‘demilitarization’ of Russia along with ‘alternative patriotism’ and concessions to the EU in exchange for visa-free travel.
“Someone who lives in Russia remains the pinnacle of our proposals,” Grigory Yavlinsky, Yabloko founder and one of the party’s leaders, told reporters as he presented the election platform.
According to Yavlinsky, the key elements of the program were the further development of democracy and anti-corruption laws that would allow Russia to join the “European community” as soon as possible.
Other factors that would supposedly benefit this goal are the demilitarization of the country, offering society “an alternative concept of patriotism,” and changing the way the state interacts with mass media. The document elaborates that alternative patriotism should be based on security, prosperity and respect for its citizens.
One of the Yabloko candidates for the elections, rights activist Lev Schlosberg, said the party also wants to press for an international conference on Crimea, the lifting of the Russian countersanctions on Western countries, and the initiation of a dialogue on a visa-free regime with the European Union.
“We don’t want today’s graduates to go to war, our country needs them alive. We are going to stop the war – the war inside Russia and the war against the whole world,” Kommersant daily quoted Schlosberg as saying.
The party chose not to draw up a separate election list for Crimea and Sevastopol, but included these federal regions in a joint constituency with South Russia Krasnodar Region.
Yabloko’s controversial proposals almost immediately drew criticism from rival Russian politicians. The head of the group ‘Sevastopol-Crimea-Russia People’s Front’, Valery Podyachy, even asked Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to check the document for possible violation of the law that forbids public calls for destruction of the country’s territorial integrity.
“The question of the Russian Federation’s territorial integrity is not a discussion issue, from the legal point of view it cannot be questioned. When investigators invite the participants of this party congress for questioning they will get their opportunity to discuss things,” Podyachy said in comments with TASS.
Deputy governor of Sevastopol, Aleksandr Reshetnikov, also said that in his view law enforcers should check Yabloko’s program for possible calls to break up Russia’s territorial integrity. Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea Ruslan Balbek suggested that Yabloko apologize to all Russians for doubting their country’s unity.
Yabloko is one of Russia’s oldest political parties to have always had a liberal and pacifist agenda. Despite losing many of its supporters and failing to claim any parliamentary seats for many years, the party has rejected proposals to cooperate with other groups. In particular, in February this year Yabloko said it will not participate in the Open Elections project launched and sponsored by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, or any of the former oligarch’s other projects.
Yabloko emphasized that the party considered Khodorkovsky’s political views unacceptable, especially with respect to the ‘oligarchic’ system of a merger between big business and state power. However, the liberals also dismissed Khodorkovsky’s recent attempts to discuss revolution and a leftist turn in Russia as unacceptable.
Parliamentary elections in Russia are scheduled for September 18 this year. The polls will be conducted under new rules – half of the 450 lower house MPs will be running on party lists and the other half from single-mandate independent constituencies, instead of the previous system in which all deputies were elected on party tickets.
In addition, the election threshold for parties has been lowered from 7 to 5 percent and party registration rules have been simplified, which has resulted in a sharp increase in political competition.
US election monitors to get personal invitation to Russian Duma polls.
RT.com 6 Jul, 2016 10:54
Personal invitations will be sent to US monitors for Russia’s September parliamentary polls, with the possibility that Russian officials will attend this year’s American presidential campaign, says a member of the Russian Central Elections Commission.
Vasily Likhachev told RIA Novosti that Russia had already signed bilateral agreements with 27 nations, allowing their representatives to conduct monitoring at the State Duma polls that will take place in mid-September.
The United States is not among these countries, but invitations could be extended to US citizens “on a personal basis” Likhachev said. If and when these invitations are accepted, the potential monitors must reply so that the Central Elections Commission can clear the invitation and gain accreditation, he explained.
The official also said that some US representatives had already visited Russia as part of the monitoring mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, but he noted that the Russian side would prefer bilateral cooperation with the United States.
Likhachev also said that when he had discussed the issue with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, the ambassador asked him to send monitors to November’s US presidential elections. It is not yet clear whether this would be a separate mission or if Russian monitors would be part of an OSCE mission, he said.
State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin has said that monitors from the United States would be welcomed at Russian polls, but added that such steps required mutuality.
“We have no secrets from anyone but of course we would like to see decent and honest people observing our elections. It is evident that there are decent and honest people in the United States, including among their parliamentarians, but still this issue needs to be worked on,” RIA Novosti quoted Naryshkin as saying.
The Duma chief also told reporters that such steps should be mutual, adding that he personally had doubts about the possibility of such cooperation, given the experience that Russian monitors had with previous US elections.
“This is difficult to imagine if we recall some episodes from previous US polls when a state prosecutor threatened to arrest us if we did not keep a distance of at least 20 meters from a polling station,” Naryshkin said.
In late May, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it plans to invite representatives of four international political blocs and organizations to this year’s parliamentary elections. The invitations will be extended to representatives of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
Previously, high-ranking Russian officials have promised that representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) would be denied access to the September polls because of the ongoing infringement of the rights of the Russian delegation in this group.
In February this year, Naryshkin ruled out the participation of PACE monitors in the upcoming State Duma elections because of the body’s continuing discrimination against the Russian delegation and the bias of the assembly’s representatives.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jul 16, 2016 11:25:55 GMT -5
Russia opens 375 polling stations abroad in view of September parliamentary elections.
RT.com 14 Jul, 2016 12:51
As of July 10, Russia’s Central Elections Commission has set up 375 polling stations in foreign countries, a member of the body told reporters on Thursday.
The work will be completed in the nearest future and it will allow Russian citizens who live abroad or visit foreign countries to cast their votes at the parliamentary elections due on September 18, CEC member Vasily Likhachev said.
“As of January 1, 2016, there were 1,889,796 Russian citizens registered in our country’s consular services outside the territory of our country. Of these, 1,661,000 permanently reside abroad. To ensure their participation in the State Duma elections we have formed 375 polling stations by July 10 and soon this work will be completed,” he was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti. Likhachev did not reveal the planned final number of polling stations.
In previous interviews Likhachev has informed the press that the commission intended to launch voting for Russian citizens in 235 diplomatic and consular offices in 147 foreign countries. Besides, the Central Elections Commission formed 75 independent constituencies in 34 Russian regions where the votes will be officially registered.
Russia will hold nationwide parliamentary elections on September 18. According to the latest research released by the independent pollster Levada Center, 48 percent of citizens intend to participate in the polls and 40 percent expect the new State Duma to service the community’s interests.
Russia: Pawsitively purrrlitical! Meet Begemot, the Russian CAT running for office.
Ruptly TV Jul 20, 2016
Purrrhaps a push towards a new kind of all-inclusive politics, a cat named Begemot, or 'Behemoth' in English, is attempting to represent of Kostroma in the Russian parliament, with the topically-aware tabby 'presenting' his manifesto from the Volga River city, Wednesday.
Ban children of Russian officials from studying abroad, says business activist.
RT.com 4 Aug, 2016 14:12
The head of a Russian business association has proposed a ban on higher education abroad for the children of Russia’s civil servants, claiming the move would help domestic schools and also increase the number of “real patriots” in the country.
“I hold that a ban on studying in foreign institutes and universities for children of Russian civil servants would help many people to give a new estimate to the quality of modern education in Russia,” Rakhman Yansukov, the president of the Association for Development of Business Patriotism, wrote in an address quoted by TASS.
“I also think that the knowledge received by the officials’ children in Russian educational establishments would become a guarantee that they develop into real patriots of their country,” Yansukov added.
The agency reported that Yansukov had sent the letter to major media outlets and also to State Duma Chairman Sergey Naryshkin and the heads of four caucuses in the Russian lower house.
Yansukov did however allow for a number of exceptions from the ban, such as for practical training abroad for no longer than six months or lifting the ban in cases when the desired education can be only received in a foreign institution.
In 2013, Russia introduced the law “On Civil Servants’ Foreign Assets” that banned members of parliament, senior officials, and top managers of state corporations and the Central Bank from holding accounts in foreign banks and owning securities of foreign companies. The restriction also extends to spouses and underage children.
The initial draft of the asset ban included real estate, but MPs removed it at the debating stage, saying that many Russian officials have possessed country homes, apartments, and land in neighboring countries since Soviet times, and that making them sever these ties would be unjust.
Several attempts were subsequently made to expand the ‘patriotic’ motion.
In 2014, MP Evgeny Fyodorov, representing parliamentary majority party United Russia, suggested fast-tracking a bill on banning leading Russian politicians from owning foreign real estate. He claimed such a move would make the country less vulnerable to outside pressure and threats of sanctions.
President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in 2015 ordering Russian officials of all levels to use only Russian airlines or airlines from members of the Eurasian Economic Union for business trips. The EEU is a Russia-led economic bloc that also includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Exceptions are allowed if EEU airlines do not fly to officials’ desired destinations.
In July this year, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved a plan under which federal bodies of executive power as well as state-owned, non-budget funds must switch to Russian-made software in three years’ time. Again, exceptions are allowed if the programs necessary for the state agencies’ work are not produced in Russia.
Soros hacked, thousands of Open Society Foundations files released online.
RT.com 14 Aug, 2016 19:08
More than 2,500 files from the raft of organizations run by billionaire George Soros have been leaked by hackers.
Saturday’s leak, published by DC leaks, includes hundreds of internal documents from multiple departments of Soros’ groups, predominantly the Open Society Foundations.
The files are grouped into sections such as geographical region, the World Bank and the President’s Office, and cover the period from 2008 up until 2016, according to The Daily Caller.
They reveal work plans, strategies, priorities and other activities by Soros, and include reports on European elections, migration and asylum in Europe.
DC Leaks claims to be the work of American activists who want to present the truth about the “US decision-making process as well as about the key elements of American political life.”
US security experts however are blaming the leak on Russian hackers, according to Bloomberg, in a similar reaction seen in the wake of the DNC leaks.
The DC Leaks hackers previously released data from the Open Society Foundations in June, a breach that was reported to the FBI, according to spokeswoman Laura Silber. She said an investigation by a security firm found the intrusion was limited to an intranet system used by board members, staff and foundation partners.
DC Leaks also revealed emails from former NATO general Philip Breedlove which showed he tried to provoke President Obama to start US conflict against Russia. Breedlove claimed to CNN in July that the emails were stolen as part of a state-sponsored intelligence operation.
An email leaked by WikiLeaks earlier this week showed Soros had advised Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State on how to handle unrest in Albania – advice she acted on.
Soros’ Open Society Foundations provides funding to the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists, which came under the spotlight earlier this year after the release of the Panama Papers, which included millions of records from law firm Mossack Fonseca showing how the wealthy are using tax havens.
The Panama Papers leak came under criticism from WikiLeaks, who claimed the US government and Soros funded the project to attack Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
Last Edit: Aug 17, 2016 0:16:50 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 22, 2016 15:32:04 GMT -5
John McCain NGO banned as ‘undesirable group’ in Russia.
RT.com 18 Aug, 2016 11:52
Russian prosecutors have recognized the International Republican Institute NGO headed by US Senator John McCain as an undesirable organization, banning the group’s operations in the country and forbidding Russian organizations and citizens from cooperating with it.
“After studying the received files [describing the activities of the International Republican Institute], the Prosecutor General’s Office has made the decision to recognize it as an undesirable group on the territory of the Russian Federation,” reads an official statement from prosecutors, released on Thursday.
Another US organization, the Media Development Investment Fund, was also recognized as undesirable.
Prosecutors added that they had established that the work of the two groups posed a threat to the foundations of Russia’s constitutional order and state security, but gave no further details.
The International Republican Institute was founded in 1983 with the declared goal of the promotion of democracy worldwide through helping political parties in foreign countries.
Since 1993 the institute has been headed by John McCain – a Republican senator for Arizona known for his numerous anti-Russian initiatives and statements.
In early 2015 Russia reportedly included McCain in the list of people subject to personal sanctions, including an entry ban and assets freeze, introduced in response to a similar measures imposed by the United States against Russian officials in 2014.
The Russian Law on Undesirable Foreign Organizations came into force in late May 2015. The act requires the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to make an official list of undesirable foreign groups and outlaw their activities. Once a group is recognized as undesirable, all its assets in Russia must be frozen, its offices closed and the distribution of its information materials banned. If the ban is violated, both the personnel of the outlawed group and any Russian citizens who cooperate with it face heavy fines or even prison terms in the event of repeated or aggravated offenses.
About a month after the law came into force, Russia’s upper house released a list of foreign organizations it believed should come under the new restrictions. The list consisted of 12 entries, including such groups as the National Democratic Institute, the US National Endowment for Democracy and the Open Society Institute also known as the Soros Foundation.
Several of these groups have already been put on the list of undesirables, including the US National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros’s Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, the US-Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law (USRF), and the US National Democratic Institute – chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 21, 2016 12:34:36 GMT -5
80% of Russians would not join protests – poll shows.
RT.com 16 Sep, 2016 10:29
Over 80 percent of Russians are unwilling to take part in mass protests over political or economic issues, latest opinion poll shows.
According to research conducted by the independent polling agency Levada-Center, most Russians think that mass protests in their regions are highly improbable. Only 18 percent believe that protests could occur due to decreases in living standards, and 12 percent said that if protests did occur, they would not take part in them. 15 percent of the respondents believe that political protests could happen in the near future, but only 10 percent said that they would take part.
The deputy head of the Levada-Center, Aleksei Grazhdankin, told the daily Vedomosti that the low protest activity among Russians was probably caused by the fact that previous protests had yielded no results, at least for those who took part in them.
Respondents are also reluctant to be involved in protests because they do not see them as something peaceful or entirely legal, but rather as ‘violent clashes.’ Grazhdankin also told reporters that in his view, the average Russian sees the latest developments in neighboring Ukraine as a warning against protests because the crisis in the country started after the 2014 change of regime caused by violent mass rallies, known as Maidan.
“People do not expect the forthcoming elections to be rigged, despite the usual pre-poll trends. No one is currently promoting the idea that the polls will not be legitimate, and there are no tensions. If the authorities indicate that it is possible to protest, the people might do so, but as long as the authorities are seen as strong and resolute, protests are very unlikely,” the researcher said.
A similar poll conducted by the state-run agency VTSIOM in January 2015 indicated that the likelihood of protests in the streets of Russia had increased, but most people still viewed them as improbable and had no intention of taking part. 37 percent of the respondents maintained that public protests were useless in principle, while 28 percent said they did not want confrontation with police, and 26 percent said they feared it would have a negative effect on their career.
In 2015, as many as 30 percent of Russians said that street protests were “inadmissible,” as they could completely destabilize the country’s political system, while only 23 percent thought that public protests were a normal part of democracy.
Russian polls close on national election day, early results indicate United Russia lead.
RT.com 18 Sep, 2016 18:04
With almost all of the votes counted, early results in Russia’s election suggest that the ruling United Russia party heads the list with 54.2 percent. The country voted on State Duma members, as well as several regional heads.
With 95 percent of the votes counted, early results suggest that the ruling United Russia party leads in the polls, followed by the Russian Communist Party with 13.5 percent, and the right-wing party LDPR with 13.3 percent. Fair Russia comes fourth with 6.2 percent, the Russian Central Elections Committee said.
A further 10 parties that took part in the elections did not receive enough votes to make it into parliament, although some of their candidate could still enter parliament as a result of constituency races.
Meanwhile, according to exit polls conducted by state pollster VСIOM, Russia's Communist Party came second with 13.45 percent, while LDPR and Fair Russia obtained 13.24 and 6.17 percent respectively, the poll showed.
Other parties did not clear the 5 percent threshold.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev arrived at the United Russia party campaign office, where the PM, who is also the chairman of Russia’s ruling party, delivered a speech to party members and thanked Putin, who is the party founder, for demonstrating support for United Russia by visiting the campaign office.
Medvedev also called the election results “a victory” for the party.
Russian people support political stability, Vladimir Putin said as he visited the United Russia campaign office. “The situation is not easy and people see it – and they want the political system and society to remain stable,” the president said, as quoted by TASS.
“Ordinary people know that empty promises are worth nothing,” he added, commenting on preliminary election results and stressing that United Russia will continue its work aimed at Russia’s development.
The total voter turnout stood at 47.81 percent nationwide, while in Moscow, it was 35.18 percent, according to the Central and Moscow City Election Commissions.
Sunday’s voter turnout is “not the highest” in comparison to that of previous elections, but it is still “high”, Vladimir Putin said, commenting at the end of the voting.
On Sunday, Russians elected the officials to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, as well as to dozens of municipal and regional bodies on the first nationwide Single Election Day – previously voting was held in December.
It is also the first time that the mixed principle has been used in elections to the State Duma since 2003, as in 2007 and 2011 Russians elected MPs from federal party lists only.
One international observer at the Russian State Duma elections, Javier Hurtado Mira, the president of centre-right political organization, the Democrat Youth Community of Europe, told RT Spanish that the atmosphere at his polling station was “calm.”
“People are casting their votes just like in other European countries,” he said adding that the voting process is “absolutely transparent” and “Russian democracy has evolved.”
This time, half of the parliament’s seats will be occupied by deputies included in the federal candidate lists of parties that will clear the 5 percent threshold. The other half will be taken up by candidates elected according to a first-past-the-post system in each of the 225 independent constituencies or districts that together form the Russian Federation.
Fourteen political parties took part in State Duma elections.
In Russia, each person over the age of 18 is eligible to vote, except for prisoners and legally incapable persons. The total number of Russian voters amounts to 111.6 million with about two million of them living abroad. Voter turnout in Russia’s previous parliamentary elections in 2011 amounted to 60.2 percent.
Russian elections: Ruling United Russia stays at helm with 54.3%, rivals decry low turnout.
RT.com 19 Sep, 2016 13:03
Official results in Russia's parliamentary, regional and municipal elections show the ruling United Russia party heads the polls with 54.3 percent after 93 percent of votes counted. Other parties have slammed the record-low turnout as “shameful” and the results as “untrustworthy.”
According to the Russian Central Election Committee (CEC), United Russia party is dominating the polls, followed by the Russian Communist Party with 13.5 percent, the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) with 13.3 percent, and Fair Russia coming in fourth with 6.2 percent.
LDPR, the Communist Party and Fair Russia have also made it into parliament, having passed the required 5 percent threshold.
United Russia will now have 343 seats in the 450-member lower house. The Communist Party will have 42 seats, LDPR will have 39, and Fair Russia just 23.
The other 10 non-parliamentary parties that took part in the elections did not receive enough votes to make it into parliament as they were unable to pass the 5 percent barrier. Some of their candidates, however, could still enter parliament as a result of constituency races.
Sunday’s voter turnout in Moscow and St. Petersburg was a record-low in comparison to previous elections. The Russian capital saw a 20 percent turnout, while St. Petersburg saw 16.1 percent. The overall turnout stood at 47.8 percent of Russia's 111.6 million eligible voters, Interfax reported, citing CEC data.
Commenting at the end of voting day, Russian President Vladimir Putin, founder of United Russia, said that while turnout was “not the highest,” it was still high given the “situation in Russia.”
“The situation in Russia is complicated. People feel this and want the stability in politics and society that we [United Russia] are talking about. In these complicated circumstances, people want the situation inside the country in the political sphere and the parliament to be stable.
“We know that people struggle, there are many problems and unresolved questions. Still, the result is as you see […] It’s hard, it’s complicated, but the people still voted for United Russia,” the president said.
Sergey Mironov, leader of Fair Russia, claimed the low turnout was Russians' way of showing they don’t believe in the election transparency.
“I’m afraid many voters chose not to take part in the election, unable to trust the fair counting of the votes,” he said, as cited by Interfax.
Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, whose party has been neck-and-neck with LDPR, also slammed the results, saying that his hopes that “this campaign would be fairer, more responsible and dignified given the crisis within the country” have floundered.
Zyuganov was outraged that LDPR could potentially beat his party in the vote, and accused United Russia of siding with LDPR to secure an absolute majority.
“This is not just deception, it’s a dangerous aberration, which will inevitably end up undermining stability,” Zyuganov said, as cited by Moskovskiy Komsomolets news outlet.
Before the final results were out, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said: “It’s high time [LDPR] became the second ruling party in the country, and communists can go to hell,” clearly hopeful his party will come in second. He also expressed outrage at the low turnout, saying that “57 million people ditching the vote is a shame,” as cited by TASS.
Mikhail Kasyanov, leader of the Political Party of People’s Freedom (PARNAS), said that “the citizens do not trust the elections, which is the result of the policy of the [ruling party], its fault.”
The founder of the “democratic alternative” to the authorities, Yabloko’s Grigory Yavlinsky, said the elections have shown Russia’s political system “is at a dead end” and needs to be completely overhauled, adding that his party and he personally will be taking part in the next “what is going to be called presidential elections.”
'Opposition seen as a poor choice'
RT spoke to Bryan MacDonald, Russia-based political author and broadcaster, who says the elections show Russians see no better option than the ruling party.
“It seems that a lot of people don’t want United Russia but they don’t want the opposition either. Pro-Western opposition has polled less than 3 percent,” he said, adding that despite the elections being considered fair even by liberal media, the West will keep snubbing this with headlines such as ‘Kremlin-backed party gets the results it wants.'
“The reason the Western media aren’t mentioning it is because it would be a wrong counter to their narrative efforts, which is that all Russian elections are crooked and they’re never going to be clean.
“They’re only interested in bad news about Russia – I mean when was the last time you saw a good news story about Russia in a European newspaper? […] I also wonder that if Russia invented a cure for cancer in the morning, if UK and American media would make it look like a bad thing,” MacDonald told RT.
Elections are legitimate - CEC, observers
Meanwhile, despite their dissatisfaction, all of the parties’ leaders have recognized Sunday’s elections as legitimate. Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) chair Ella Pamfilova confirmed this, saying that the number of violations was significantly lower this year than in previous elections and could not cast doubt on the legitimacy of the voting process. She did however note that despite the president's calls for fair elections, members of election commissions in many regions experienced bureaucratic pressure.
Reports of some violations at polling stations have been posted on Russian Twitter accounts. The deputy head of the Russian Central Elections Committee said that the elections watchdog would look into all the reports, adding at the same time that most of them either have no basis in reality, or are “exaggerated.”
In one such instance, a video posted on YouTube purports to show a violation at one of the polling stations in the central Russian city of Rostov. A woman can be seen putting a number of ballots into the ballot box while two other women hide her from the observers. The local electoral commission and the Investigative Committee said they are looking into the incident.
Complaints about irregularities were filed with the regional election commissions in several regions, the majority regarding alleged attempts to bribe voters. The commission said the number of complaints this year surged compared to 2011, probably due to the fact that there are more elections being held in the regions, but stressed all complaints will be dealt with promptly.
The CEC chair said some 264,000 observers were present at the polling stations throughout the country, including international observers, who in general say that the voting went smoothly.
“I’ve been to five polling stations and everything was calm there. People came to vote in the same way as they do in other European countries – it’s good news for Russia,” international observer Javier Hurtado Mira told RT.
“All in all I can say is that the vote proceeded very smoothly […] Democracy in Russia has evolved and that’s good news for everybody,” he added.
In Moscow alone more than 3,500 polling stations were under online surveillance.
“We went to different polling stations and of course we were at the central election commission and we didn’t see any kind of violations. There may have been some technical violations that had to do with maybe handicapped access, but there hasn’t been anything that we’ve seen or heard of that would have any effect on the election,” Kline Preston, a US observer at the elections, told RT.
Sunday’s elections did not pass without a smile. Social media has been filled with a choice selection of humorous episodes, such as regional leaders dancing outside a polling station, pictures of pets ‘working’ as observers, voters’ unexpected choice of outfits, and alternative candidates that were added to the ballot papers by fans of PokemonGO and Game of Thrones.
A resident of the Siberian city of Omsk came to a polling station dressed as the comic and movie superhero Iron Man.
Voters who were not happy with the choice of candidates suggested Game of Thrones’ wily dwarf Tyrion Lannister or Pikachu the Pokemon to lead the country instead.
Since humans obviously can’t be trusted, one polling station apparently chose cats as observers, as this picture shows.
Duma 2016 vote: ‘Liberal opposition failed to convince voters they care about people’s wellbeing’
RT.com 19 Sep, 2016 14:02
Why Russia’s liberal opposition hasn’t made it to the State Duma and why the Communist Party has lost supporters compared to previous Duma elections? RT talked with Veronika Krasheninnikova, Director of the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies and Initiatives.
According to preliminary results, the ruling United Russia party has won Sunday’s parliamentary elections with about 54 percent of the vote.
RT: Critics say there is no real opposition in Russia. What’s your take on that?
Veronika Krasheninnikova: The majority of votes for United Russia involve the majority of responsibility for United Russia. Of course all Russians expect solid results from United Russia. Indeed there are many problems in the country, particularly in the economy, and United Russia will be very much expected to solve at least the majority of such problems. The track record that United Russia showed during the past years is rather good.
People had a chance to vote for 14 parties, and only four parties out of those got into parliament – [they] have more than five percent of votes. During previous elections all the opposition parties’ complaints were about irregularities at the polling stations. But now even these opposition parties are not talking about it and all of them are accepting the very convincing victory of United Russia.
RT: The West is also arguing that there is no liberal voice represented in the State Duma, as neither of those kinds of parties passed even three percent threshold. Are those comments justified?
VK: … Russians want not just talking, but solid results from the opposition... They had so many months to convince the electorate that they are the most efficient to solve those problems. But people are reluctant to vote for them. I agree that Russia needs liberal ideas, but it needs quality ideas and it needs from the opposition parties real concern about the wellbeing of Russians. Somehow they couldn’t assure their voters about that. Unfortunately.
RT: What can you tell us about today’s Communist Party? Why has it made some losses this year, unlike it was in 2011?
VK: One of the explanations of the decreasing number of votes is that small the parties, those ten parties, who didn’t get into the parliament, withdrew some of the voices that otherwise the Communist Party would have gathered. That decreased the percentage by five - seven per cent.
Number two, the Communist Party of Russia is definitely not the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It is very different and is much milder. You’d say it is a social-democratic party today. It is unfortunate that the Communist Party leaders couldn’t convince the electorate that a lot of these solutions to the current economic crisis in the world don’t lay within the market system. It is obvious. That is why [there is an] increase of the left votes in the world – that is what we observe.
The Communist Party in Russia could have had many arguments. There is an economic crisis, but the rich get richer, and the spread between the richest and poorest is still growing. That is definitely unfair and we do need in Russia a strong left. So we hope that the Communist Party in the Duma will show solid results in the next five years.
‘Reply to external pressure’ – Putin welcomes United Russia victory.
RT.com 19 Sep, 2016 14:14
Vladimir Putin has called United Russia’s landslide victory in Sunday’s parliamentary polls proof of citizens’ trust, saying it is the best answer to external sanctions and internal attempts to destabilize the country.
“In a situation riddled with complications and a large number of uncertainties and risks, the people unconditionally choose stability, and trust the leading political force – the government. The results of the voting are also the reaction of our citizens to attempts of external pressure on Russia, to threats, sanctions and attempts to destabilize the situation from the inside,” the Russian president told government members on Monday.
Putin also told ministers that despite the overwhelming popularity of the centrist conservative party United Russia, they should continue to develop a multi-party system and pay attention to all political movements, including those that failed to gain parliamentary representation in the Sunday elections.
Putin told government members that they should abstain from using “shock therapy” in economic reforms, making only gradual changes under carefully-weighted plans.
On Sunday night Putin visited United Russia’s elections headquarters together with the party leader, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev, and said that the apparent victory in the State Duma elections was a very good result.
Putin also praised the efforts of United Russia MPs and other party officials in making the lives of the Russian people better.“They work as effectively as possible. Some skeptics can say that they don’t work as well as they could. But no one is performing better, it is that simple,” the president said.
According to preliminary estimations released by the Central Elections Commission on Monday afternoon, United Russia garnered over 54 percent of votes cast for political parties’ federal lists of candidates. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation ranked second with over 13 percent, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) also gained over 13 percent, and the Fair Russia party received slightly over 6 percent of votes. Other parties failed to overcome both the 5 percent threshold required to secure parliamentary representation and the 3 percent threshold necessary for getting state sponsorship until the next parliamentary polls.
According to preliminary results of the ballot count, candidates backed by United Russia also received 203 of 225 seats reserved for elections in independent constituencies. In addition, one United Russia member won as an independent candidate. The Communist Party and Fair Russia received seven seats each, with the Liberal Democrats gaining five. Two seats went to the nationalist party Motherland and the pro-business party Civil Platform. According to latest reports, the turnout at the elections was slightly over 40 percent.
Last Edit: Sept 22, 2016 14:03:11 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Two-thirds of Russians want Putin to remain president after 2018 – study.
RT.com 16 Nov, 2016 09:37
The share of Russians who would prefer Vladimir Putin to continue leading their country after the 2018 presidential polls has risen to a four-year high and is currently at 63 percent, according to the latest public opinion poll.
The Levada independent research center reported on Tuesday that in October this year the share of Russians who said that they would prefer Putin to remain president for another term was 63 percent, with 18 percent saying that they would prefer another scenario and 19 percent refusing to give an unambiguous answer to the question.
For comparison, in October 2012 only 34 percent of respondents claimed positive attitude towards a fourth presidential term for Putin and 40 percent described such an outcome as undesirable. The share of those who could not answer the question was 26 percent back then.
Mikhail Vinogradov of the St. Petersburg Politics foundation told Vedomosti daily that the increasing support of Vladimir Putin and his policies could be explained by the lingering “Crimea effect” – the universal public approval of the Crimean Republic’s accession into the Russian Federation and also by the fact that an average Russian has grown tired of politics and is not closely following the latest events and tendencies.
Levada researcher Denis Volkov added that the 26 percent of people who wanted another leader for Russia were “those who are not satisfied with their lives and at the same time have little understanding of the political system and the way it works.”
In late May this year, Levada released a rating of public trust to top level politicians and officials. Putin topped the list with 80 percent support, followed by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. This was a slight decrease from the peak value of 89 percent registered in late June 2015. Also in May the government-owned research center VTSIOM reported that according to their data share of Russians who said they are happy with Vladimir Putin’s performance as president was 82 percent. Even more Russians – 84 percent – said they are ready to vote for Putin at the presidential elections.
TsarSamuil: Bbq is basic slavic right
Aug 3, 2018 10:18:31 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: @ussrstrong: I blame general low activity on social medias, all the people sit there today
Oct 10, 2018 12:53:50 GMT -5
reznik: @proto-Orchid: very true. What's worse, is that the system is designed specifically to keep those people dormant in their echo chambers. Nothing new to learn for them there, just stupid cat videos and such. Sad.
Oct 14, 2018 5:48:26 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Its the substitute for going out, meeting and spending your time with friends in real life. Its just part of the story. When I was younger I remember people were meeting to play team sports, but today you see completely autistic people jogging with iPhone.
Oct 14, 2018 18:18:38 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Then they come back home, put pictures on Instagram or Facebook to show off how they spent their time jogging, and as mental satisfaction they get few likes or hearts, or whatever social medias have today, which is a measure of how good their life is. Sick
Oct 14, 2018 18:21:43 GMT -5
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Nov 11, 2018 6:56:57 GMT -5
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Nov 25, 2018 17:19:11 GMT -5
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Nov 30, 2018 3:17:07 GMT -5
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Dec 29, 2018 9:15:04 GMT -5
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Jun 3, 2019 0:37:57 GMT -5
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Jul 28, 2019 9:08:27 GMT -5
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Aug 12, 2019 15:49:41 GMT -5
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Sept 13, 2019 20:32:33 GMT -5
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May 18, 2020 9:10:02 GMT -5