Russians Write Their Own History
In other words, neither we nor the Kremlin has any idea what the majority of the country wanted, even if we accept the Kremlin's numbers -- which we know are false based on evidence gleaned from the parliamentary ballot a few months ago, when Putin's lowest level of support across the entire country was received in his own home city, St. Petersburg. The tiny handful of elections observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe stated that "election repeated most of the flaws revealed during the Duma elections of December 2007. Equal access of the candidates to the media and the public sphere in general has not improved, putting into question the fairness of the election."
This is the very most optimistic thing you can say about the people of Russia. They didn't really support the Putin regime nearly as fully or enthusiastically as the Kremlin is claiming. Look any deeper, though, and what you see is truly appalling. It's barbarism, pure and simple.
The results show that, as they have shown many times before, if Russian "voters" couldn't have Medvedev, the anointed proxy of a proud KGB spy, then their second choice was a Communist (Gennady Zyuganov).
In 1984, Republican Ronald Reagan was reelected president with the support of 49 of the 50 American states. At that time one of the most popular figures in American electoral history, Reagan collected just 59% of the vote, far less than the share taken by Medvedev, a totally unproven unknown. In Franklin Roosevelt's best of four election performances, his first reelection in 1936, his result was almost exactly the same (61%, losing two states). FDR was the only president ever elected to a third term, so popular was he in his prime, yet his share of the vote was likewise far behind that of Medvedev, who has never accomplished a single thing for Russia. No president in American history has come remotely close to securing 70% of the popular vote but Dmitri Medvedev, a walking cipher, a sycophant, exceed the performances of Reagan and FDR by a whopping 16% even though inflation is spiraling out of control, Russia's relations with foreign countries have never been worse, corruption and human rights abuses are rampant and the country is losing hundreds of thousands from its population ever year due to unremedied sickness from a thousand sources.
Medvedev did not debate, face critical TV advertising or criticize any aspect of the Putin administration.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated: "These are free and democratic elections, and they were preceded by a free and democratic campaign." Yet, the Moscow Times reported:
One independent observer told The Moscow Times that a less subtle approach was used at Polling Station No. 1513 in the Pechatniki district in southeast Moscow. The observer, Roman Udot, said he peered through the slots of both the sealed ballot boxes at the polling station and saw neatly stacked ballots, despite the fact that voting had not yet begun. The top ballot in each stack had a mark next to Medvedev's name, Udot said. He managed to take a photograph of the stack of ballots in one of the boxes and posted the pictures on his blog, romanik.livejournal.com. The photographs appear to support his claim. "I reported this to the election officials," Udot said in a telephone interview. "I called police, and they came here for a while. What drives me nuts is that no one cares or takes any action."Garry Kasparov was not allowed to walk onto Red Square during the elections. Oleg Vasilyev, 21, and Ivan Afonin, 18, members of the opposition youth group Oborona, were arrested on sight by OMON. A Moscow Times photographer was threatened with arrest and assaulted when he attempted to photograph these actions. And the day after the elections, when citizens peacefully gathered to protest all of the foregoing facts, this is how, as we report below, Medvedev's government responded:
It's barbarism, pure and simple. Russia must be cast out from the community of civilized nations. It's people have made their choice, now we must make ours.