Note February 2016. These were done for the Russia Profile Weekly Experts’ Panel which I cannot find on the Net now. Many were picked up by other sources and I have given links where I can find them.
Can’t find a reference.
The Western Kommentariat finds in Putin’s remarks about Western (ie Washington’s) influence on the protests to be an “extraordinary attack” showing that he may be taking “a harder line against Russia’s opposition”. As usual there is no attempt to consider his perspective. Let’s try: here are some of the things Putin sees.
BelayaLenta.com, the supposed Russian protest group, (White Ribbon – you can’t have a coloured revolution without a colour) appears to have come into existence in October and gives its address as Bellevue, WA 98007 USA. By the way, white armbands were worn by collaborators in Nazi-Occupied USSR – not the most felicitous choice of colour.
Golos, the so-called “independent” Russian election monitor, seems to have some interesting communications with US officials with the suggestion of payment for the “correct” results. It receives funding from the USA. Independent? Only if you think Washington’s motives are the disinterested pursuit of democratic virtue.
Hillary Clinton was very quick off the mark to condemn the results, far more so many international observers who saw nothing untoward and much stronger than the official OSCE report. Almost, a cynic would say, as if she had been handed, by accident, as it were, the briefing note prepared in case United Russia claimed much more than opinion polls predicted.
The Western MSM is in full cry about how the elections were fraudulent, making up numbers where necessary to justify the preconception (“United Russia’s real vote in Moscow was 23.5%”).
What else does he see?
An election outcome, long predicted in opinion polls, in which his party lost a lot of support.
Even those who are looking for fraud aren’t finding it. Vedomosti’s recount in Moscow has turned up what it claims are 7456 votes for United Russia stolen from other parties in 294 voting stations (totalling about 440,000 votes). Given that it is finding fewer examples as it looks at more stations (it started with what it considered to be the worst cases), it is running into diminishing returns. Indeed the effort seems to have stopped – nothing has been added to the website since 14 December. Even if Vedomosti’s accusations are correct, 7500, or 15,000 or even 30,000 votes in Moscow City’s seven million voters amounts to a few tenths of one percent. Hardly the fraud the Western media is talking about.
The North Caucasus results are suspicious but minorities are very good at maximising their presence at the centre (I commend a study of Quebec which, for more than a century, has managed to do this – even abandoning normal preferences when necessary. See the 2011 results for an especially dramatic example of a landslide of support switching).
Perhaps all this reminds Putin of other campaigns involving exit polls (very easily faked), press campaigns (easily started) and foreign funding (always present). True, the “White Revolution” is still missing a new leadership team. Could it be Zyuganov and Zhirinovskiy? After all, they took two-thirds of the seats United Russia lost and if the election was stolen, it was stolen from them.
So, his conclusion is not the wild fantasy of a diehard enemy. I see these things and wonder too.