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Politics & Current Affairs

Will Protests Spark Real Change in Russia?

The unprecedented protests in Moscow at the weekend were new proof that Russia's growing opposition movement won't stand by idly watching Putin march to power.

What’s the Latest Development?

In the fortnight since the Bolotnaya rally, the Russian government response has gone from panicked to largely symbolic gestures and now to the start of something akin to actual concessions and real change, says Julia Ioffe. With thousands more at this weekend’s protest, pressure mounts for the spirit of change creeping through the Russian political system to grow stronger.

What’s the Big Idea?

However, many of the most important things will probably go unchanged: The deeply fraudulent parliamentary elections of Dec. 4 won’t be nullified and held anew and the head of the Central Election Commission shows no signs of resigning. Come March 4, unless things completely come apart, Putin will win the presidential election and the system will remain deeply corrupt, Ioffe writes. There’s still the risk that things could explode into violence and screw-tightening.

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