Putin Lashes Out

Jacob Laksin is a senior writer for Front Page Magazine. He is co-author, with David Horowitz, of The New Leviathan (Crown Forum, 2012), and One-Party Classroom (Crown Forum, 2009). Email him at jlaksin@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @jlaksin.


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So much for the Obama administration’s famous “reset” button.

The latest evidence that the U.S.-Russian relationship can’t be mended with mere slogans is Vladimir Putin’s vitriolic attack on Hillary Clinton this week, in which the current prime minister and soon-to-be president essentially accused the Secretary of State of fomenting an internal revolution inside Russia by directing opposition protestors to rally against this weekend’s sham parliamentary election results. “She set the tone, gave the signal, and the signal was heard by certain activists,” an angry Putin charged. “They heard this signal and with the help of the State Department, they started active work.”

Clinton’s crime? Expressing doubts about the fairness of Russia’s elections this weekend and insisting that Russian voters “deserve a full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation.” As Clinton was quick to note, she was hardly alone in these concerns. No less than Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet premier and General Secretary of the Communist Party, has said that the election results were “a lie” and should be annulled.

There can be little doubt the election results were fraudulent. For starters, all but fringe or Kremlin affiliated parties were banned from participating. Meanwhile election monitors like Golos, Russia’s sole independent election watchdog, where subjected to a sustained campaign of harassment by security officials and state-run television organs. Despite that, and despite Putin’s evisceration of most independent media over the past decade, numerous reports surfaced of election fraud, with confirmed accounts of young people being ferried to different election stations to vote multiple times. Amateur videos captured election officials stuffing ballot boxes. Incredible voting tallies – including the 99.5 percent of the vote that Putin’s United Russia party received in places like Chechnya – all pointed toward a rigged result.

All of this has become the norm in Russian elections. What might explain Putin’s temper tantrum is that, despite being rigged, the elections still resulted in losses for Putin’s party, which won less than 50 percent of the vote – a significant drop from the 64 percent United Russia claimed as recently as 2007.

The most hopeful interpretation of that unexpected result is that another corruption-plagued election, combined with the prospect of Putin’s return as president for another 12 years, has proved too much for even the previously passive and politically fragmented Russian public. Thus, recent days have seen thousands of demonstrators turn out in the streets of Moscow and other major cities to protest the election result and to demand a “Russia without Putin.”

The official response has been typically severe. In Moscow, the government ordered some 52,000 police and paramilitary troops to crush the nascent protests. The government also launched a crackdown on activists and opposition leaders, most prominently the popular anti-corruption crusader and blogger Alexei Navalny. Navalny, whose description of United Russia as the party of “crooks and thieves” has become a rallying cry among the opposition, was among the hundreds of activists arrested this week.

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  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    Criticism of the elections in Russia would be quite legitimate if it originated from a more "electorally advanced" nation. However, given the grotesque lawlessness of the 2008 "impostoral" election in the US, and of the currently unfolding his 2012 "re-election", madam Clinton should rather shut up (and better focus on "celebrating" homosexuality truly internationally).

    Yes, in Russia they screwed the statistic a bit here and there to 140%, or may be imported a few Black Panthers and ACORN activists to invigorate their poll stations: who could blame them for such innocent monkey-tricks?

    True, Russians do require a voter ID, which is a bit racist…

    Yet all the above is a mere childish prank in comparison to pushing a contender for the presidential post without any papers, who in his own biography acknowledged prior loyalty to foreign nations, and who happened to be an identity thief and forger. No questions asked in 2008. Or rather the questions are taboo since then.

    And now the electoral commissions of the States are on the way of enlisting a notorious impostor, thief, and fraud Obama/Soetoro again, as though it is business as usual and nothing has been learned. After all, he did pay the $1000 fee and fill in the application properly. Who can ask for more…

    Anyway, if America wants to give Russia a lesson of a good election practices, America is not in the best shape in the moment (having soiled its own pants). It would be much better to learn the lesson from Russia's past:
    http://www.resonoelusono.com/2008vs1917.htm

    • Fred Dawes

      You can see all to well, thank you.

    • http://english.pravda.ru/history/29-11-2010/115965-liberalism-0/ Xavier Lerma

      I could not have said it better myself. You get my vote for America's news anchor.

    • cali

      You hit the nail on its head! Yes, I agree, Hillary has no room to talk when it comes to the integrity of election; her past included lots of corruption, incl but not limited to the sale of national security issues in return for campaign donations to her husband.
      The election fraud committed by democrats is well documented, including the current attempt by obama's man to once again steal the election by concocting fake reason for not requiring an ID to vote.
      There's an old saying "before you try to remove the log in someone eye, remove your own first so you can see the error of your own ways"!
      Clinton, and her sidekick should remember that!

  • vlondo

    l am very sorry but if one wants comprehensive and reasonably straight news – particuarly about what goes on in the West – one goes to RT. Says a lot about the state of things in the West that no mainstream Western media player will report a lot of what goes on here in the West. l could even venture that the mainstream media conglomerates should be made to forfeit the special status they enjoy because they do not report facts.
    Furthermore Western governments and mainstream political parties in general have entered into spoken and unspoken agreements with the media to deny any unbiased coverage of rightwing polirical parties. The western media is anti freedom, anti freedom of speech and a willing accomplice of the liberal/socialist elites who rule everywhere.
    The Western mainstream media is utterly discredited and RT is looking pretty good indeed from any vantage point in the West.

    • Fred Dawes

      Thank you.

    • mlcblog

      what is RT?

  • StephenD

    You see what they're fighting for don't you? They are angry because the resurgent Communist Party didn't get a fair shot. As if having them back in would be any different than what Putin is doing anyway. OF course, Hillary and her boss would probably rather have out and out Communists to deal with rather than the likes of Putin who wears a facade.

  • mrbean

    Chezwick_Mac is right when says: " You see what they're fighting for don't you? They are angry because the resurgent Communist Party didn't get a fair shot." Hillary Clinton siding with Communists should not be new, : Professor Tommy "The Commie" Emerson, her mentor at Yale, got Hillary Rodham(Clinton) her first job assigned to the CPUSA financed defense lawyer Charles Garry in the Black Panthers Bobby Seale murder trial. The defense was funded by the Communist Party USA . Professor Tommy "The Commie" Emerson also got her her law internship as the personal law clerk to Robert Truehaft, the head of the CA CPUSA and the Chief Counsel for the entire Communist Party USA. She not only worked for him as his law clerk for a year, but lived with Trueafts, who were both carding carrying CPUSA members.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    It may all be political theatre of Hillary's part to make herself look like a true
    lover of the people. It is the people of Russia that did not get a shot at a fair
    election and they suffer under the criminal enterprise of arch enemy Putin
    who has gulag in his veins and would gladly murder any and all opponents.

    But when considering who is calling the kettle black Hillary has her own ambitions
    and profits from what ever happens unless that would be a KGB assassination
    which seems unlikely. Remember Hillary is under the council and guidance of
    the Muslim Brotherhood and may be Putin is not to their liking and things could
    change with all of those Muslims surrounding Russia, time will tell………….William

  • Fred Dawes

    I Think we could be looking at the start of the third world war?
    face facts do you really think that our political system is fair? AND UNDERSTAND ONE OTHER FACT Old mother russian is under attack by 100 million muslims and if you think that is Nut's do any of you remamber a school that was attacked?

    by the way do you think our political system is not Ragged? if yu think our system is great just look at Obama and old Newt and open your own eyes.

  • Kyra

    I thought hijab Hilary is busy bending over for the OIC. Who knew she was such a good multi tasker?