Another Nail in the Coffin of Russian Democracy

In local elections held on October 11 in Russia, the Putin Kremlin plumbed shocking new depths in the neo-Soviet art of vote fraud. Meanwhile, the Obama White House looked the other way.

Sergei Mitrokhin -- chairman of the Yabloko Party who served in parliament from 1994 to 2003 and on the Moscow City Council from 2005 to 2009, but who was forced off the ballot this year like almost every other true opposition candidate -- documented “busloads of passengers who travel from district to district to cast their votes repeatedly.” And each such voter cast not just one ballot in multiple locations, but filled out “huge stacks of absentee ballots.” And that wasn’t the worst of it. He also reported:

At one polling station in the Otradnoye district, workers handed pensioners ballots with the United Russia candidates already selected. When observers at the scene requested that they stop violating the rules, members of the district election committee replied that the elderly people were suffering from poor eyesight and had specifically requested the assistance.

The most ludicrous example of falsification occurred at District 192, where my family and I are registered and where we cast our votes on election day. Video footage on Ren-TV clearly showed me placing my own vote on Oct. 11, but after the polls closed the official election returns showed the figure “0” for the Yabloko Party in my district.

Once again, statistical analysis carried out by fearless Russian bloggers proved with mathematical certainty that the results claimed by the Kremlin, a landslide for its party of power, United Russia, could not be accurate. Former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev openly proclaimed the proceedings a “mockery” of democracy. Most tellingly, even the so-called opposition in the Russian parliament, which consists of nothing more than crypto-fascists and outright communists, were so offended by the Kremlin’s excesses, which cut into their merely bureaucratic but still lucrative power bases, that they stormed out of the Duma in protest even as U.S. Secretary of State Clinton arrived in Moscow.