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The On-File Obituary of Russia’s Elections

Mark Medish of Carnegie points out how Operation Successor Russia is making the job of the media very easy: “Medvedev’s impending victory makes the job of the domesticated Russian media easier. Like on-file obituaries, the post-election stories have already been written (subject to some minor final details, the electoral equivalent of the precise cause of death). The Putin succession was not bereft of drama, however. To the contrary, a colorful and contested presidential election process actually took place, though it wasn’t on the campaign trail or at the ballot box. The real Russian election occurred in a black box—namely, inside the soul of Vladimir Putin. To use an American analogy, one could say that the “superdelegates” in Putin’s head cast their ballots, and when all the debates were finished, the winner was Medvedev.