Russia

7:26am

Mon March 5, 2012

6:34am

Mon March 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Putin's Victory Comes With Claims Of 'Widespread Violations'

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a rally in Moscow on Sunday. He won election to the post he previously held: president.
Alexei Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

It's no surprise that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin won Sunday's election to return to the more powerful post he previously held — president. His victory was widely expected. Putin appears to have gotten about two-thirds of the votes.

Also not surprising: Sunday's results are being followed with reports today that, as The Associated Press says, "the opposition and independent observers insisted the vote had been marred by widespread violations."

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2:55pm

Sat March 3, 2012
Author Interviews

'Enchantments' Of Rasputin's Lion-Taming Daughter

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 3:09 pm

Rischgitz Getty Images

The famed mystic Rasputin — notorious for his otherworldly powers and his sexual escapades — may not have seemed like a traditional family man, but in fact, he had a wife and three children.

His eldest daughter, Maria, is at the center of Kathryn Harrison's new novel, Enchantments, a dark fairytale mash-up of history and magical realism set during the last days of Imperial Russia.

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2:03pm

Fri March 2, 2012
Europe

After Fraud Charges, Russian Election Under Scrutiny

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 4:01 pm

There were widespread allegations of fraud in Russia's parliamentary polls in December. In advance of Russia's presidential election Sunday, Russian citizens abroad have been allowed to vote early. This woman casts a ballot in Kyrgyzstan on Feb. 26.
Vyacheslav Oseledko AFP/Getty Images

Just three months ago, Russia's parliamentary elections prompted widespread allegations of fraud and drove thousands of protesters into the streets in the days afterward.

The Russian government and government critics both say they are trying to prevent a similar outcome in Sunday's presidential poll.

Valdimir Putin, who has been either the president or the prime minister for the past 12 years, is widely expected to win another six-year term as president. But the credibility of Russian elections is also at stake.

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10:01pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Europe

Putin Heavily Favored As Russians Pick A President

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 6:12 am

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivers a campaign speech during a rally of his supporters in Moscow, Feb. 23. Putin is mounting a vigorous campaign in the face of growing opposition but is expected to win Sunday's presidential elections.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

When Russians go to the polls Sunday, they will have several choices for president. But none is a serious threat to Vladimir Putin, who has been the most powerful figure in Russia for the past 12 years.

Boris Makarenko, a longtime observer of Russian politics, says the candidates arrayed against Putin are all more or less part of what Kremlin leaders call "the systemic opposition."

In other words, he says, they are "the tolerable opposition ... which can never even hope of replacing them in the Kremlin."

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