[CIA psywar specialists have fine-tuned their social media political action system, so that they can instantly capitalize on any bad political news. With State Dept. watchdog groups like Golos patrolling electoral exercises like piranha looking for blood in the water, it is a sure thing that they will find some dead issue to pounce on. Putin understood that this would happen once he let the West in. The question now is how will he deal with it, like a democratic head-buster or a real dictator. There is a fine line that Russian enforcers can walk to emulate the American police state. Look for long-range acoustical mob control devices to appear at the next planned protests.]
Protesters across Russia march against Vladimir Putin’s ruling party following allegations of official vote-rigging in last weekend’s Duma elections.
By Fred Weir,
Moscow was uncommonly tense Wednesday, with tens of thousands of riot police patrolling the streets and helicopters buzzing overhead, while opposition leaders promised more flash-mob-type demonstrations to protest alleged official vote-rigging in last weekend’s bitterly contested Duma elections.
For more than a decade, Russians appear to have quietly accepted Vladimir Putin’s system of “managed democracy.” The system utilizes a toolbox full of official measures to ensure that only Kremlin-approved parties and candidates get elected, and that the decisive share of votes is always won by the ruling party, UnitedRussia (UR), which has been headed by Mr. Putin for much of its existence.
But on Monday, after official returns showed UR winning almost 50 percent of the votes – down sharply from the 64 percent it won in 2007 polls – up to 10,000 protesters, informed mainly through social media, converged on the downtown Chistye Prudhi metro station. They attempted to march to the Kremlin, shouting slogans like “down with the police state” and “Russia without Putin.” About 300 were detained, and a few such as radical blogger Alexei Navalny and liberal opposition leader Ilya Yashin were subsequently handed 15-day prison sentences for “refusing to follow a lawful police order.”