United Russia

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Outspoken Putin Critic Gets 5 Years

Protester Alexei Navalny says evidence was faked

(Newser) - A leader of Russia's protest movement has been found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison for financial theft from a state-run timber firm. Alexsei Navalny is known for using the Internet to attack corruption and the "swindlers and thieves" of Vladimir Putin's United Russia party,... More »

Missing Russian Politician Found in Barrel of Cement

Ruling party member Mikhail Pakhomov said to have been killed over debts

(Newser) - Nearly a week after he was declared missing, a Russian lawmaker's body has turned up near Moscow—in an unidentified person's garage, squeezed into a barrel of cement. Mikhail Pakhomov, of the ruling United Russia party, was a member of the Lipetsk city parliament. "The nature of... More »

Lawmaker Keeps Voting— From the Grave

Russian voted 'aye' 31 times yesterday, after his death

(Newser) - A Russian lawmaker was so devoted to his job, even death couldn't stop him from doing it. Vyacheslav Osipov voted "aye" on 31 measures in parliament yesterday, the same day fellow legislators held a late-afternoon moment of silence for the newly deceased 75-year-old. The votes were made by... More »

Silver Lining for Protesters: Small Wins in Moscow

Russian activists seek to build on neighborhood victories

(Newser) - Russia's presidential election has left Vladimir Putin's grip on power intact , but in Moscow, his opponents are trying to take control of the streets—and the parks, and the garbage collection. Scores of opposition activists won seats on the capital's 125 district councils, and they aim to... More »

Putin Slaps West, Denies New Elections

Also says McCain 'nuts', protesters wearing condoms

(Newser) - Protesters be damned, Vladimir Putin outright rejected calls for new elections today in a marathon appearance on a call-in show. Instead, notes the AP , he continued to place the blame for the widespread protests on the West's "well-organized pattern of destabilizing society," adding that they "still... More »

Russia Wildly Exaggerates Crowds at Pro-Putin Rally

Authorities say 25K; media put it at 5K or fewer

(Newser) - Authorities said 25,000 people attended a pro-Putin rally yesterday in Russia, but the real number was "not even close" to that amount, reports the New York Times —and many of the attendees weren't there of their own free will. "Apparently it’s our duty. We’... More »

Putin's Party Walloped in Russian Vote

May lose majority in parliament

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin's grand plans to be Russia's next president may have hit a snag: The PM's United Russia party suffered a major setback in parliamentary elections held today, reports Reuters , securing only 48.5% of the vote amid allegations of widespread voter fraud. That marks a significant... More »

Medvedev: Putin's More Popular Than I Am

Russian prime minister says he's no seat-warmer

(Newser) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev insists he's no seat-warmer for Vladimir Putin, the BBC reports. In a Russian TV interview shot today, Medvedev says he's letting Prime Minister Putin run for president in the next election because Putin is more popular. "Prime Minister Putin is now unquestionably the... More »

Gorbachev Slams Russia's 'Sham Democracy'

Ex-Soviet leader attacks 'conceited 'Putin regime

(Newser) - Mikhail Gorbachev has launched his most blistering attack yet on Vladimir Putin's regime. The last Soviet leader, speaking at a press conference ahead of his 80th birthday, described Putin's Russia as a sham democracy, the Guardian reports. "We have everything—a parliament, courts, a president, a prime minister and... More »

Putin Eyes Return to Russian Presidency

Prime minister says he and Medvedev will decide who gets to run in 2012

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin hinted yesterday that current Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is just keeping his seat warm for him until he can return to his old job in 2012, the Financial Times reports. The prime minister—barred by the constitution from seeking a third consecutive term as president last year—said... More »

West 'Wasted 20 Years' After Berlin Wall Fell: Gorbachev

Former Soviet states should unite, he suggests

(Newser) - Europe has squandered two decades of potential cooperation since the Berlin Wall fell, Mikhail Gorbachev says. At a Moscow event sponsored by his foundation, the former Soviet leader criticized Western leaders who viewed the 1989 event as their victory over Eastern Europe, rather than an opportunity for common good, Reuters... More »

Putin Hints at 2012 Comeback

Russian PM says he may succeed Medvedev in 2012

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin dropped his strongest hint yet last night that he may seek to return to his country's top job in 2012. In an interview with Japanese media, Russia's president-turned-PM said there was no decision yet on whether he or Dmitry Medvedev would run for president at the end of... More »

Putin Promises to Help Sliding Russian Economy

With many paychecks weeks behind, crisis reminds nation of '90s collapse

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin proposed steps yesterday to stabilize the Russian economy as layoffs and deferred wages cause rising insecurity about the nation’s finances, the Wall Street Journal reports. Russian firms now owe $145 million in delayed wages to 300,000 people, and those figures may actually be higher—a fifth... More »

Study Finds Mass Rigging in Russian Vote

Up to 1 in 3 Medvedev votes was fraudulent, says researcher

(Newser) - As many as one in three votes for Dmitry Medvedev in Russia's presidential election were fraudulent, according to a comprehensive study by a computer analyst. Not only was Medvedev's total inflated by about 7 points, but the turnout was also exaggerated, reports the Times of London. That means that only... More »

Putin Set to Wed 24-Year-Old Gymnast

Russian president said to have split from wife 2 months ago

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin is said to be preparing to marry a 24-year-old star Russian gymnast, the Telegraph reports. Rumors of the 56-year-old president’s courtship to Alina Kabaeva have been swirling around Moscow for months, but were recently printed by a Russian newspaper that found a St. Petersburg event planner who... More »

Putin Grabs Control of Russia's Ruling Party

Outgoing Russian prez consolidates power before leaving Kremlin

(Newser) - As expected, Vladimir Putin has announced that he'll take control of Russia's dominant political party when he steps down as president and becomes prime minister next month. Putin will be the chairman of United Russia, a new post to which he was elected unanimously. One peculiarity: He still refuses to... More »

Russian Majority Party Offers Putin Even Tighter Grip

Taking spot as head of United Russia would solidify his next job, as PM

(Newser) - Russia’s largest party will ask Vladimir Putin to lead it after Dmitry Medvedev becomes the country’s president, United Russia's current head said today. Putin says he’ll become prime minister when Medvedev is sworn in May 7, but leadership of United Russia—which holds a large parliamentary majority—... More »

Putin Pick Hits Campaign Trail

Medvedev launches bid with 79% support in polls, virtually no competition

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin's hand-picked replacement has launched his presidential campaign with a 2-day visit to Russia's far west. Dmitry Medvedev has seen his popularity soar since the president announced he would like to see him as his successor: he's now polling 79%, higher than Putin did before his 2004 landslide victory,... More »

Putin Names Favored Successor

Business-friendly Medvedev would 'carry on the course'

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin ended months of speculation today by naming Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as his chosen successor, the AP reports. A Putin loyalist, Medvedev is a business-friendly lawyer with ties to prominent natural gas company Gazprom, AP reports. Putin’s choice is expected to be the prohibitive frontrunner in... More »

Observers Cry Foul Over Putin Victory

Monitors say gov't tampered with polls Kasparov calls 'dirtiest'

(Newser) - Even as Vladimir Putin hailed his party's decisive victory in Russian elections yesterday as a mandate, international elections observers said the polling was neither free nor fair, and complained of government interference. State employees were reportedly ordered to vote for Putin, CNN reports, and Garry Kasparov’s Other Russia party... More »

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