Deep Putin

So Gary Kasparov’s going to run for President of Russia in 2008. It’s easy to look at this and think it great that such a prominent dissident is running, but it’s pretty clear that he’ll lose. Whoever Kasparov will be running against – be it Viktor Zubkov, Dmitry Medvedev, or whoever – will be a Putin loyalist, and with Putin as massively popular as he is, it’ll be near impossible for Kasparov to beat them. This is compounded by the fact that Putin is running for the Duma this December, and has said he’s interested in the post of Prime Minister. I’m willing to bet good money that with Putin as PM and Zubkov/Medvedev as President, the presidency will become largely ceremonial and will rubber-stamp whatever Putin passes. So the presidential election will basically become a question of whether to reelect Putin, and I suspect that reelecting Putin is, unfortunately, exactly what the Russian people want to do.

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