I am getting really sick of those guys over at The Power Vertical. Every time I have a good idea for a blog post, they go out there and do it first (and then do it better than I can). Take for example this staged “walk out” of the Kremlin-sanitized “opposition,” timed right during Hillary’s visit to make it seem as though the country is enjoying a vigorously active plural system. Sorry, but when Zhirinovsky and Just Russia are undertaking these performances, it’s no better than a $10 knock-off Rolex in a Beijing market: fake, fake, fake. From the PV:
So now we’re supposed to believe that Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Gennady Zyuganov are the last great defenders of Russian democracy? They were shocked, appalled, and offended that the Kremlin would –ghasp! — fix an election and decided to make a stand.
Yeah, right. Clearly something else is going on here. (…)
For one thing, Zhirinovsky, who initiated the walkout, doesn’t doanything of this magnitude without an underlying motive (and thatmotive is never the advancement of democracy), and without promptingfrom his masters in the Kremlin.
And as Danila Galperovich of RFE/RL’s Russian Service points out in a commentarytoday, the floor speeches by LDPR deputies that sparked the walkout,ostensibly in protest of alleged falsifications in the October 11 localelections, “were obviously rehearsed note for note.”
Moreover,the parliamentary rebellion received extensive — and largelyrespectful — coverage on Russia’s main state-run television channels.In the tightly controlled world of Russian television, that doesn’thappen by accident.
“Could Gennadi Zyuganov, Sergei Mironov, andVladimir Zhirinovsky with their followers summon the guts for agrandiose scandal without a condescending nod from their curators?” Mikhail Rostovsky asked rhetorically in a commentary in today’s edition of “Moskovsky komsomolets.”