Russia House

editorial

2015-07-31
Third World War would be last for humanity Duma speaker
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2015-07-31
Russia Right to Resist US Judicial Imperialism
Expect the US to try to use fight against trans-national corruption to further its own interests

By Jurij Kofner
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2015-07-31
MH17 Tribunal Idea Provocation Against Russia Since Very Beginning

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2015-07-31
Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki Was Unjustified US Experts

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2015-07-30
Ukraine Is Eager for Neoliberal Shock Therapy
Ukraines political class stands ready to eagerly implement IMFs recommendations which have wrecked havoc with scores of other countries so far

By Sean Guillory
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2015-07-30
Italian lawmakers announce plans for Crimea visit in October
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2015-07-30
Paul Craig Roberts: 'US Wants to Coerce Russia Into Submission'


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2015-07-30
Three reasons why Russia should not be called the greatest threat to the USA

By Valentina Feklyunina,James Bilsland
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2015-07-29
Russia-Turkey Gas Pipeline Deal Advances
Moscow has sent the draft of the inter-governmental agreement on Turk Stream to Ankara. The ball is now in the Turks court
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2015-07-29
A New Balance Of Power In The Middle East OpEd

By Alessandro Bruno
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Russia House

2012-03-17

Final notes on Russias elections and what next?

Edward LOZANSKY, President, American University in Moscow

Usually elections in foreign countries do not attract too much public or media attention in the U.S., especially not in the middle of our own presidential campaign. This time it was different, though. Major American newspapers almost daily printed two or even three dispatches from Moscow, most of them featuring devastating criticism of Putin, praise of the opposition (despite communists and outright nazis being part of it) and anticipation of something like an orange revolution or Arab spring fast approaching.

To the great disappointment of many such observers, instead of joining the list of deposed dictators like Gaddafi or Mubarak, Putin won the election with what is generally known as a landslide. Everyone, with the notable exception of Senator McCain, had to admit, often reluctantly, that Putins victory was overwhelming and thus legitimate.

President Obama spent about a week thinking of what to do about it but then, observing that all the other world leaders have already congratulated Putin on his victory, he, too, placed the call, apparently fearing that America might be seen to be a teeny bit out of step with the world it professes to lead.
That was not the most curious reaction to Putins election, though. Not by far. For all their abstruse talk, philosophers sometimes come up with very apt dicta. Like, Extremes meet. Id say this time they met with a resounding clang. Senator McCain and Comrade Zyuganov, leader of the Russian communists, sang in operatic unison: Putins election was fraudulent, a sham, and thus illegitimate.

Well, it is a more or less recognized fact that while McCain is living in a phantasmal world of his own comrade Zyu is a different matter altogether. During the election campaign he repeatedly stated that his goal is to bring Russia back to the Leninist-Stalinist model that is: a one-party political system, a single candidate per ballot, each getting no less than 99.99 percent of the 100 percent turnout.

One wonders why Mikhail Gorbachev should join McCain and Zyuganov, babbling something about the elections illegitimacy. The man who is praised (at least in the West) for saving the world from a nuclear holocaust and who worked shoulder to shoulder with Ronald Reagan in throwing communism to the dustbin of history, could do better than act in this comical fashion.

Really, Gorby should have a more accurate idea of what the term legitimacy means. The only time he went to the electorate in a new Russia, he quite legitimately got all of 1.75 percent, or some such figure. One would have thought that Gorbachev could afford one or two professional advisors who would tutor him ahead of the interviews.

As for U.S. establishment it would be wise for them to take note that despite sometime strong anti-American rhetoric, Putin is willing and able to act pragmatically. His latest words: "If we had managed to achieve a breakthrough on missile defense, this would have opened the floodgates for building a qualitatively new model of cooperation, similar to an alliance" should be considered more seriously before flat rejection, unless, of course, we want to repeat all our mistakes in Russia policy in the last 20 years.