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Russia’s “Vibrant” Civil Society?

Here is a perfect example of the Doppelgänger theory of Russian politics: Whatever unsavory conduct the regime is guilty of, they turn around and blame their opponents of committing the very same acts, be it in areas of corruption, money laundering, repression, extremism, energy security, or even democratic values.

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Is there a cast party following this production? (Photograph: Alexey Sazonov/AFP/Getty images)

From the Guardian article “Russians were ordered to attend Putin rallies“: Hundreds of students and state railway workers were ordered to attend demonstrations in Russia calling for Vladimir Putin to stand for an illegal third term as president, according to documents seen by the Guardian. From the WSJ article “Putin’s Indecision Leaves Russian Elite Puzzled, Worried“: In recent weeks, a wave of demonstrations and public appeals calling on Mr. Putin, 55 years old, to stay on for a third term has swept the country. Opposition leaders have charged that local authorities working for United Russia have orchestrated the demonstrations. But a Kremlin spokesman said they were simply a sign of Russia’s vibrant civil society. Given the state’s controversial NGO law, the bitter irony of saying such things to the press must have the Kremlin erupting in peals of delirious laughter once again.