In the articles and notes taken for this digest, I have translated only the main thing. Much has been omitted. Before you - just a review. My personal opinion is not here either.
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Washington Post, 4 March 2012. Article: “Putin won the Russian presidential election; his opponents claim widespread fraud. ” Authors: Katie Lally and Will Inglund.
The article says that although Vladimir Putin won the Russian presidency - with the overwhelming majority of votes, as predicted - but “many of his compatriots have become much more assertive and ambitious than when he first came to power 12 years ago.” Katie Lally and Will Inglund write in artistic style that “The Kremlin Tower gleamed majestically” behind Putin when he went to declare victory - “although only about 30 percent of votes were counted and accusations of ballot ballots sounded loudly. It's amazing, journalists write, but the tear slowly slid out of his right eye as he stood in front of his crowd. He made a fiery speech, corresponding to the image of a tough guy, which they so carefully cultivated. He later said that the tear was due to the wind. ”
The article states that Putin raised his voice in his speech when he touched on the topic of foreign enemies, “including the United States trying to destroy Russia.”
Then the journalists tell that Putin, who received a percentage of votes “for” 64, turned out to be “in unfamiliar circumstances”. After all, since December of last year, he “was the target of huge thousands of demonstrations, in which many thousands of people bravely and jointly spoke out against him ...” Therefore, the results of the Sunday elections, American journalists believe, “are unlikely to repress the demands of honest government.”
Lally and Inglund point out that the protesters, “angry at the reports of Sunday’s violations,” still do not know what strategy Putin will follow. Will he "gradually transform the authoritarian regime, as they hope?"
The newspaper quotes Sergei Udaltsov, "the leader of the socialist Left Front": "It was a shame, not an election!" And also: "They again spit in our face. Tomorrow we will be on the streets! ”The article notes that the Russian authorities have given permission for protest rallies on Monday and Thursday.
The article itself states about Vladimir Putin: “Putin’s 59-year-old, trained as a KGB agent, sets himself up as an all-powerful leader and savior of the nation, immune from criticism. He won with 71,3% of votes when he ran for president in 2004, but his prestige was hit in December, when the ruling United Russia party received less than 50 percent of votes in parliamentary elections, which is a humiliating defeat after 64 percent in 2007 ". Further, it is said that “people are no longer afraid to object to Putin, and he is ridiculed on the Internet ...” At the end of the article it is said that thousands of Russians watched the elections be held on Sunday. The group "Voice" "reported that she received 3000 complaints."
Washington Post, 5 March, 2012. Article: "The End of Putinism." Author: Jackson Dil.
This article states: “No one in Russia doubted the outcome of the presidential election on Sunday,” and that Vladimir Putin is preparing to begin a new six-year term. At the same time, the journalist notes the “burning question” in Moscow: “How long will it last?”
According to some of the "excited" members of the opposition, the journalist writes, - not for long. Oppositionists predict an increase in protests after the election. "More sober analysts," writes Dil, "depict a strong personality, whose environment could last for a couple of years or more, if it would calm the irritated public with political and economic reforms."
“Pessimists think,” the author writes, “that Putin can stand all six years as president, but not the next six that he clearly counted on when announcing his return to work last September. The Russians, ”Dil remarks,“ with whom I spoke a few weeks before, expressed a general refrain: the autocracy that had dominated the country over the past decade was already dead. The only question is what will follow it and when. ”
The article compares Russia with another “big and, apparently, stable dictatorship” - China. A brief comparison is made in order to summarize that “the Chinese government planners say that the political stagnation that this implies is impracticable”.
Dil asks a question: will there be changes that he considers “inevitable” in the existing Russian system, and how - “from the inside or from the outside”? "Some people believe," writes Dil, "that he [Putin] will gradually allow liberalization." However, Dil immediately writes about an increase in the “repressions of dissidents” in the PRC.
And Dil repeats the “Moscow” question: will Putin last long?
"New York Times", 4 March 2012 g. Article "Putin cried." Posted by: Robert McKee.
“Perhaps,” writes an American journalist, “the only surprise that happened to Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, who won the Russian presidential election on Sunday, was a tear in his eye when he spoke into the microphone, addressing supporters for the Moscow Kremlin wall . The video, called “putinwept” by one incredulous blogger, seemed to expose Mr. Putin, who was crying because he was represented by outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev. ”
The journalist writes further that “Putin said later that the tears were caused by the cold Moscow wind, and not by feelings, but France Press reported that representative Dmitry Peskov doubted this. "Well," Mr. Peskov told state television, "at least that was his explanation of what happened."
Putin’s opponents, the journalist said, “used tears to tease him.” Robert McKee quotes A. Navalny as saying: “Today our leader really had a reason to cry ... He looked at everything around him and said:“ God, what did I do for all this? ”
"New York Times", 4 March 2012 g. Article "Russian turnout includes thousands of active observers." Authors: Ellen Barry and Sofia Kishkovski.
The rather long article, which did not fit even on one web page, deals mainly with the election observation process, cases of possible falsification of the results, as well as V. Putin’s reaction to accusations of electoral violations. The article states that the observers had a “small army” and that “hundreds of thousands of citizens watched ballot boxes on Sunday through an extensive network of webcams, which was a great experiment in a public study of the electoral process.”
Journalists note that "this time the Kremlin seemed better prepared to withstand the accusations ..." The article says that the observers were accused by the authorities of making fraudulent reports and in efforts supported from abroad and aimed at overthrowing Mr. Putin's. ”
The article states that "The most prominent controlling group in the Russian elections, Golos, registered 45 cases of carousel voting, in which groups of voters using absentee ballots run between polling stations to vote many times."
It is also noted that “Alexander V. Kynev, an official spokesman for Golos, said that his group did not register the equally widespread filling of ballots, which it recorded in December, and suggested that this was because“ the falsification technology moved in a more difficult and difficult direction for the disclosure. "
The authors write below: “Mr. Putin and other officials in recent days have argued that fraud charges were prepared in advance — as part of a conspiracy to weaken his government, and pointed out that Golos is funded mainly by the US government.”
“This is just one of the tools of the struggle,” Mr. Putin said last week. - They are preparing to use certain mechanisms to confirm election fraud. They are going to fill the ballot boxes, they are going to control it, and then they will present it to the public. We already see it, we already know it. ”
“To strengthen public confidence in the elections,” the authors write at the end of the article, “the Kremlin ordered millions of dollars of webcams installed at polling stations at 478.” However, according to activists, "many of the webcams were either turned off or did not provide clear images."
Los Angeles Times, 4 March 2012. Article "Putin's Pyrrhic Victory." Author: Leon Aron.
The author of the article reports the following information: “Leon Aron - Director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the author of the book Road to the Temple. Truth, memory, ideas and ideals in the formation of the Russian revolution 1987-1991. ”
“Vladimir Putin,” says L. Aron, “was ready to win more than 50% of votes on Sunday and thus be“ elected ”by the president of Russia again. This is not surprising: it deprived every leader of the pro-democratic opposition of opportunity to win and limited the overwhelming majority of Russian citizens receiving news mainly from state television channels, government propaganda. And after an exciting and well-documented falsification of the results of the December 4 parliamentary elections, no one doubts that the Central Election Commission, which is a subsidiary fully owned by the Kremlin, will “pull”, as they say in Russia, any number that the boss will order. ”
However, further notes Aaron, “this will be a Pyrrhic victory. Elections that are far from increasing the legitimacy of the Putin regime will reduce it even more in the eyes of a significant part of the Russian population. ” Aaron cites figures: “According to a February poll of voters conducted by the most authoritative polling company in Russia, Levada Center, 35% of respondents thought that the elections would be“ dirty. ” In addition, 13% of adults said they were ready to participate in public protests. ”
However, Aaron objectively notes, “the numbers do not tell the whole stories».
The author further speaks of increasing hatred of the “regime” emanating from the “avant-garde protest” and mentions “tens of thousands of men and women who demonstrated the slogan“ Putin must leave ”in December, January and February and carried Putin's effigy in a striped prison uniform ... "
Aaron writes: “Of course, these protesters are in the minority, of which the Kremlin does not tire of reminding everyone. So what? Few, if any, regime changes, let alone revolutions, were made by a majority. ” The journalist said: “And the recent revolutions added one important factor: people who start them receive news and opinions without censorship from the Internet and social media, and not from state-controlled television.”
In proof that the uprising in Russia can be raised by a young middle class, Aaron cites data from the Levada Center: “According to the Levada Center, 62% of demonstrators who spoke in December 24 had bachelor degrees or higher; a quarter of them were younger than 25, more than half were under forty; almost half were professionals and almost a quarter were either managers or business owners. ” What seems particularly important to Aaron here is that “almost 7 of 10 identified themselves as“ democrats ”or“ liberals. ”
Aaron writes: “As my late friend, a Russian reformer, economist and economic historian Yegor Gaidar, said:“ Russia lags behind the West by about 50 years ”.
Then the author draws a familiar parallel between protests in Russia - and the “Arab spring” and “color” revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia, etc. The difference between Aron’s opinion and many others is that he does not consider Russian slogans to be common or borrowed, but purely "domestic", what they are already "for more than twenty years ..." Aaron argues that for Mikhail Gorbachev at that time the "revival" of society was inseparable from the "struggle for the dignity of man, his elevation, his honor." Aaron also remarks: “One of the most beautiful essayists of the epoch of publicity, Yuri Chernichenko, saw millions learn to spell:“ We are not slaves! ”
Aaron summarizes: “If what we see today in Russia is a really powerful river that flowed so widely and was so deep at the end of 1980 and at the beginning of 90, which went underground in 2000 and now appears again expanding and accelerating, it is difficult to understand how the current regime could be prevented from being removed in another attempt to remake Russia. ”
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So, we got acquainted with some materials on how American journalists see the presidential elections in Russia. Concluding the review, I can only note that three reputable publications representing the US press - the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times - largely converge in their “Russian” vision.
Observed and translated by Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru