Amy Knight, Russia: The New Struggle with Putin
Although they have gotten little attention in the Western press, the regional elections taking place throughout Russia on October 14 may be Vladimir Putin’s greatest test since his return to the presidency last spring. With voters in 73 of Russia’s 83 regions going to the polls less than a year after the Kremlin faced allegations of widespread fraud in parliamentary elections, the looming question for Putin is whether he can ensure a favorable outcome without overt manipulation. For the opposition, a primary concern is whether their candidates will even be on the ballot.
Photo: Evgeniya Chirikova, a mayoral candidate in the city of Khimki, being detained during a protest in Moscow, July 19, 2011