Presidential Elections: To Raise Turnout, Kremlin May Propose Changing City Names, Sources Say

A year away from the presidential election, the Kremlin’s technocrats are scrambling to find the best way to handle Vladimir Putin a landslide victory and could use “local referendums” to motivate Russians to vote.

Supporters of the president fear voter’s apathy –expressed in last year’s parliamentary elections by a 48% turnout, the lowest the country has seen in its modern history– could give Vladimir Putin a weak standing in what would be, according to the Russian constitution, his last term as President. Continue reading “Presidential Elections: To Raise Turnout, Kremlin May Propose Changing City Names, Sources Say”

Russian Media: The Kremlin is About to Get Tough on Navalny

Anonymous sources “close to the Kremlin” told independent outlet Dozhd the presidential administration is about to launch a campaign to discredit Alexey Navalny, Russia’s main opposition figure and presidential candidate. At the same time, a website claiming to reveal the “secret details” about “politicians, social activists and their organizations” released alleged bank statements claiming an anticorruption organization created by Navalny is funded thanks to an illegal “slush fund”. Continue reading “Russian Media: The Kremlin is About to Get Tough on Navalny”

On Road to Presidency, Marine Le Pen Gets a Hand from Putin

A version of this article was published on the Bear Market Brief’s website.

It was a nice gift from Moscow. On the 24th of March, the leader of the French far-right party “Front National” and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen met with Vladimir Putin for an hour and a half in the Kremlin, a mere one month before the first round of the presidential election.

The meeting wasn’t expected: Le Pen had come to Russia at the invitation of a Russian MP, and the agenda was focused on committee meetings at the Duma. There, Russian and foreign journalists were left waiting an hour for a press conference that never came, while Le Pen was sneaking to the Kremlin to meet with Putin. A selected few Russian TV channels were there to cover the meeting, which later featured extensively on Russian and international media. Continue reading “On Road to Presidency, Marine Le Pen Gets a Hand from Putin”