November 30, 2007
WHY PUTIN DOES IT: Because he can:
Vladimir Putin does not want to win the upcoming Duma Parliamentary elections. He does not want to win big. He wants an overwhelming victory. He wants to annihilate the opposition. And Putin probably will get what he wants.
Furthermore, Putin feels no need for any “seal of approval” from the West. He so circumscribed election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that they can’t do their job, so they’ve withdrawn.
And most Russians, with no great enthusiasm for political freedom in their national character, are okay with that.