The Kremlin Gets a Christmas Gift

This one from Alexei Pankin in the Moscow Times: “The presidential election was held in Georgia, which, in my opinion, was a major gift for the Russian authorities. Against the backdrop of the enormous scandal that surfaced there, the Kremlin even viewed the victory of the hated Mikheil Saakashvili as only a minor tactical failure. Moscow’s strategy in regard to Georgia — and Ukraine, for that matter — has been to convince both the Russian public, and as far as possible the international community, of the senselessness of the popular political demonstrations in those countries. Throughout the former Soviet republics, the spirit of “sovereign democracy” reigns. People’s votes therefore carry equal weight — which is to say, very little — whether or not a particular country has or has not been in the throes of a color revolution. Three different newspapers — the pro-Kremlin Izvestia and Komsomolskaya Pravda as well as the relatively independent Moskovsky Komsomolets — all painted more or less the same picture of election fraud in Georgia. This seems to support the Kremlin’s vision.