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2018 Russia Presidential Election

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Florian

Why am I only discovering this thread now ? :O 

And those essays :giveup: I'm gonna catch up asap :excited2: 

Edited by Florian
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bumblebee
2 minutes ago, Florian said:

Why am I only discovering this thread now ? :O 

And those essays :giveup: I'm gonna catch up asap :excited2: 

I remember I owe and essay to you, too :usrs:

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Florian
43 minutes ago, bumblebee said:

I remember I owe and essay to you, too :usrs:

PM is always open and waiting :usrs: 

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Florian

That was such an interesting read @bumblebee :giveup: 

I love how you deliver information in this humorous way. It's so smooth :wub: 

Is it bad to want more events to happen soon so you can make tons of posts ? :excited2:  

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bumblebee
15 hours ago, Florian said:

That was such an interesting read @bumblebee :giveup: 

I love how you deliver information in this humorous way. It's so smooth :wub: 

Is it bad to want more events to happen soon so you can make tons of posts ? :excited2:  

So long as these events do not involve another nationwide financial crisis and violence it's fine, I guess :madge:

"Cause Bumblebee is saving dem coins to travel abroad :diane:

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Florian
36 minutes ago, bumblebee said:

So long as these events do not involve another nationwide financial crisis and violence it's fine, I guess :madge:

"Cause Bumblebee is saving dem coins to travel abroad :diane:

I meant events related to the election, boy :diane:

I hope you're saving to visit la France :stalkga: 

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Florian
5 minutes ago, bumblebee said:

J'adore la France! :classy:

–Į –Ľ—é–Ī–Ľ—é –†–ĺ—Ā—Ā–ł—é :grr:¬†

Spoiler

Thanks Google for always having my back :pray: 

 

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Florian
2 hours ago, Judas Baby said:

:lolga:this is why America has constitutional term limits

Let's not act like the US is a democratic role model please :lolga: 

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bumblebee

RETURN OF THE LEVIATHAN

Or how Mr. Putin brought back the state and took away a good portion of Civil Rights. 

In order to understand the climate of the upcoming election, it would be insightful to look back at the evolution of the civil rights in Russia since Mr. Putin was elected to office for the very first time. That would obviously allow us to understand the track of the society (unlike in Gaga's most recent No.1 hit, it's not the right track, baby) and the environment where the election is held.

Fun fact (not really fun though): Mr. Putin inititated campaigns against some civil rights during every single term of his. 

First term: 2000-2004

When Putin won the elections and got into the Kremlin office, Russian TV had three major TV channels: TV 1, Russia's National TV, and NTV. TV 1 and NTV were privately owned and together accounted for a 57% share of all the audience and recieved about 62% of all the advertisement revenue. These channels were insanely popular, think: Gaga, Katy and Rihanna in 2009-2011.

One of the first major events to take place during Putin's first term was the infamous "Kursk" submarine disaster in August 2000, when the submarine with a nuclear reactor sank in the Barents Sea during the first major Russian naval exercise in more than ten years (there had been hardly enough budget money to hold naval exercise during Boris Yeltsin's reign). The event was covered 24/7 on all the TV channels and the journalists were criticizing the authorities and dragging them.

The problem was that when the submarine sank, people on board remained alive, and the government was supposed to figure out the way to pull the submarine from the bottom of the sea without f*cking up a nuclear reactor. When Mr. Putin arrived at the town hall for a meeting with the relatives of people captured in the submarine, it was a f*cking hot mess.

There were wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters and friends of the navy men captured in the submarine. They were shouting at Putin like hell. They were all on their feet, screaming at him, cursing him, shouting that he would rot in hell. Putin tried to speak, but he couldn't be heard, so loud was the roar of the raging crowd. It was the first major emergency of his presidency, and it was a total flop.

When he got back to Moscow from the town hall meeting, he asked for a report that would allow him to understand where all those people got their ideas about the disaster from. Putin tried to reason that he was not responsible for the dreadful conditions of the national army forces: they had been brought close to perishing because of Yeltsin's budget policy, not because of him. The report gave Putin a summary of the way journalists cover the whole situation, and it pissed him a lot.

The attorney general then initiated investigation against Mr. Gusinsky, the owner of the "NTV" channel, bringing accusations of tax fraud, tax avoidance, financial fraud and a lot of other financial crimes. Mr. Gusinsky was brought to jail and faced the accusations. He was let out and offered a deal: the attorney general would drop all the accusations if Mr. Gusinky would agree to sell 25% of the TV channel to the government-owned gas giant Gazprom.

The process of acquiring the top private TV channels was not met with positive reviews from all the citizens. There were countless peace gatherings to protest the government's actions, and in the end, people even formed a "living circle" around the building of NTV to prevent the government officials from walking into office. Putin ordered the special armed forces to clear the pass to the building, and after brief fighting, the protestors had to flee.

This is the start of the Putin's propaganda. However, please notice, that during 2000-2004 the TV channels that together reached over 70% of the audience were not used to spread blantantly made up lies. Putin's media strategy in 2000-2004 was more subtle: he used the influence of Gazprom over the editors to outline the general contours of the national media discourse, like what should and what should not be discussed on TV. The issues that were "talkable" could be presented from whatever point of view the ediot thought most fitting. Misinforming was not a goal yet.

To not paint the picture too gloomy, let us also observe that there remained many other private owned TV channels on Russian TV after 2001. Their shares were comical compared to TV1 and NTV, and they were mostly entertaining TV channels, but some serious journalists managed to find jobs on other TV channels.

Second term: 2004-2008  

If we consider the nationalization of major private TV channels to be an act of assault on the freedom of speech (which it certainly was), 2004 saw a different kind of assault, the one on the liberties of business.

Russia's richest man and the owner of the country's biggest oil company YUKOS, Mr. Khodorkovsky, expressed his intetntion to run for the top office in 2004, and before long, he was arrested and charged with tax aviodance and financial frauds. He was then sentensed to 10 years in prison and his company, YUKOS, was sold to a government-owned company ROSNEFT.

The court's decision that sent Mr. Khodorkovsky to prison was percieved as a signal that meant that the Court is no longer an independent branch of power in Russia. The businessmen got scared as f/ck. They understood that unless they were loyal to Mr. Putin, they could be the next in line for a 10-year prison sentence.

At the same time, most members of the top business echelon did acquire their assets in the 90s under the not-the-most-transparent schemes. Therefore, they could not move their money abroad, because the simplest investigation would probably shed light on the unlawful nature of their initial assets. They therefore had to remain in Russia and take part in a school contest: who's the most loyal to Mr. Putin?

So, after the assault on the big business companies, Mr. Putin moved forward to propose the new election law to the parliament (passed by both Houses), the law that made the election system more complicated and less competitive.

So, during his first two terms, Mr. Putin established control over the most important TV media, scared the f/ck out of the big business companies by imprisoning the country's richest man, and the Parliament passed the new election law that made the political system less competitive. To make the matters worse, a number of respected journalists were murdered in Russia in 2000-2008.

CIVIL SOCIETY REACTION 

Since 2006, a movement called "March of the NonConforming" appeared in Russia, a union of people that felt disgusted with Putin's course of the establishing the government's dominion in media and big business. They started holding protest actions since 2006, and in two years, their actions became known on the nationwide scale and spread to all the biggest cities. They didn't stop protesting even after Putin stepped down in 2008 and Mr. Medveded became the President.

The peak of this protest movement was in 2011 and 2012. When the facts of mass manipulation with vote count were made public after the December 2011 Parliament elections, the protests erupted in major cities, mostly in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

The protests were som massive that the government didn't make an attempt to dispell them. Following the protests, President Medveded announced a pack of bills meant to reintroduce the liberties of election system, most importantly, he brought the gubernatorial elections back.

But that didn't satisfy the demands of the crowd, and the protests went on, although less massive. When Putin returned and won the elections for the third time in March 2012, the protesting movement decided to block the president's route on the day of inauguration. The most violent street fights in the history of Moscow followed. 

Ultimately, Putin's armed forces won and for his inauguration day, the streets were ever silent. The protest movement was defeated.

And since he got into office in 2012, he started using the media tools to spread propaganda, not just to outline the contours of the discousrse. His third term is known for the cases such as: *** Riot trial, anti-LGBT law, the law protecting the feelings of faith, the case against theater's director Kirill Serebrennikov, imprisonment of  Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukaev, Crimea annexation and involvement in the war in the Souh-East Ukraine.

Summary

Putin's first two terms are noted for assaults on the freedom of speech, freedom of business and electoral rights. Despite many people arpoving of his policy, the protest movement emerged in 2006 and lasted until 2013. The protest movement was largely possible because of the Internte and mobile Internet which has managed to stay safely out of the government's influence. People were trying to fight Mr. Putin's course peacefully, but after exercising all the peaceful means, they realized that the only way to oppose the power is through street fights, and that's when the movement died, because not all the people who disliked Putin were ready to take part in street fight. Having defeated the protest movement, the President was free to exercise a third term with a more agressive domestic and foreign rhetorics.

P.S. Some pics of the 2011-2013 protests and the 2012 inauguration pic, when Putin is cruising along the absolutely deserted streets to step into his third term: 

Spoiler

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bumblebee
13 minutes ago, Florian said:

Why is Putin so good at being bad? :saladga: 

Honestly, I think he succeeds in holding power because he doesn't act like one of straightforward 20th century dictators who relied 80% on violence and 20% on Propaganda. 

Putin relies 20% on Violence and 80% on Propaganda and he imitates the democratic institutions rather than tries to irradiate them. 

:ohno:

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bumblebee

MR. NAVALNY OFFICIALLY BANNED FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE 2018 RACE

As a matter of breaking news, the Central Electoral Commission  held a special meeting on December, 25 and organized debates where Mr. Navalny, the major opposition leader, tried to reason the Commission members to let him participate in the presidential election. The heated debates ended with the Commision voting against Navalny's participation 12-1, pointing at his criminal conviction of 2011 as a major obstacle that prevents him from Running, according to Constitution. Mr. Navalny, on the contrary, says that the act of forbidding him to run for the top office is a violation of the Constitution.

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However, since Mr. Navalny is declined the chance to run, it means that Putin will not face real political competitors during the 2018 election. Mrs. Sobchak remains the most outspoken critic of Putin, but her decision to run was announced too late. Mr. Navalny has been campaigning since March 2017, and it's unlikely that Mrs. Sobchak will be productive enough to create an equally inclusive platform just 2 months before the election. 

So far, three candidates have been registered: Mr. Putin, Mrs. Sobchak (representing the party Civil Platform) and Mr. Grudinin (representing the Communist Party). 

:selena:

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