Garry Kasparov speaks out:
"There are no illusions that what is being called elections was the most unfair and dirtiest in the whole history of modern Russia," Kasparov said at a news conference, pointing at reports of massive vote violations.
"We fully realize that it's useless to seek the truth in Russian courts," he added.
Kasparov, who heads the Other Russia coalition of opposition groups, was arrested and jailed for five days for leading a protest rally in Moscow on Nov. 24. His group was not allowed to run for parliament.
That's a pretty effective way of ensuring there is little or no dissent--just keep people from running for office. As our own State Department remains disengaged and completely irrelevant when it comes to dealing with the rise of Putin, it's comforting to note that modern Russia is moving towards another "cult of personality" phase.
TVER, Russia (AP) — Hundreds of grim citizens jammed a theater here Thursday, vowing to hold parliament accountable for executing President Vladimir Putin's policies even after he steps down next year.
The gathering was one of the most visible in a series of recent demonstrations, testimonials and appeals across Russia's 11 time zones, urging Putin to remain in power somehow after his second term ends this spring. He is barred by law from seeking another term as president.
Critics have called the outpouring of support for Putin evidence that a personality cult has sprung up around the 55-year-old former KGB lieutenant colonel. But hundreds of members of the "All Russia Council of Initiative Groups to Support Putin," who gathered Thursday, listened to a parade of speakers describe Putin's leadership as crucial to Russia's future.
"The existence of our group is needed until Putin's plan is implemented and until we make sure that Putin remains an active leader of our country," said Irina Nosachevskaya, from Russia's Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.
Even though Putin is not allowed to run for a third term, this group is trying to find a way to keep him in power. After all, Putin is only 55 and in excellent health. There's no reason to believe that he couldn't run Russia for another 30 years.
Supporters of George W Bush, the 27% dead-enders club, had no comment.