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What’s next for Russia?

“Putin won’t be president in one year,” said an angry Vicheslav Egorov, the organizer of one of many anti-Putin Facebook pages. Along with tens of thousands of other Russian citizens, Egorov is a self-described revolutionary advocating for Putin’s removal.

“It will be pressure without violence or weapons. We have only our bodies and our brains,” Egorov said of the coming revolution.

Vladimir Putin was elected for his first term as president of Russia in 1999 and remained in office through 2008. Under Russian law he could not stay for a third consecutive term, so he took the position of Prime Minister from 2008-2012. In this year’s elections he once again ran for president and won a third term in a landslide vote of 63 percent.

The recent presidential election was allegedly riddled with corrupt activities including ballot stuffing and “carousel voting,” in which voters are bussed from one voting site to another to enter ballots again and again.

Putin’s supporters rejected claims of voting irregularities.

“This is the cleanest election in Russia’s entire history,” said Putin’s campaign chief, Stanislav Govorukhin.

Putin is known for bringing economic stability to post-communist Russia. Under his leadership, the Russian economy grew and prospered.

Maria Lipman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Moscow Center notes that, before the Putin administration in 2000, 22 percent of Russians lacked adequate food essentials. Since then, this percentage has dropped to below 10 percent.

Putin has strong support, but there is also a growing core of opposition in newly formed rebel groups led by individuals like Egorov.

Sources:
BBC News
Huffington Post
www2.Macleans.ca

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