Voting in Russia: Please Don’t Call it "Elections"

On September 8, numerous Russian regions voted in the framework of a so-called “single voting day”. Most significantly, Moscow voted for the members of City Council (“Duma”), and Russia’s second-largest city Saint Petersburg was to elect its governor. It would be a mistake, however, to draw any conclusions on the sentiments of the Russian people from the results as the voting process was skewed at every stage of the so-called “election”.

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Putin and the Costs of Being Wrong

Since mid-2019, Moscow experiences a wave of public protests, triggered by the decision of the government not to allow several opposition candidates to run for the city parliament in the elections scheduled for September. How can we explain this unprecedented rise of spontaneous protests activity? For me, the protests in Moscow are an example of a core problem any authoritarian regime faces but which is frequently overlooked by the analysts and scientists: the risks of mistakes.

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