(USA Today) The Russian government is allowing more than a dozen opposition candidates to run in Sunday's parliamentary elections to give the appearance of political freedom at a time when other dissenters face a mounting crackdown.
While their chances to win seats are slim, candidates such as Maria Baronova say their struggle lays the groundwork for real democracy in a country where the government of President
“We need to do something right now because when the regime changes, we won’t be able to do anything without this experience,” she told USA TODAY in written comments. […]
“The government appears confident this time that it will achieve the desired result — another United Russia win — but it prefers to ruffle as few feathers as possible by keeping election turnout low and avoiding any public scandals that could lead to an uprising,” Nikolai Petrov of Russia’s
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