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The Union of Right Forces Caves In, Potemkin Democracy Makes a Comeback

This is a very sad day for Russian democracy as one of the leading opposition parties, the Union of Right Forces, has voted to disband and form another party under the Kremlin’s control. The party’s decision was pushed by Anatoly Chubais and Leonid Gozman, who said that “Some people say you have no moral right to make deals with these people in the Kremlin after what they have done. But if you want to make change in your country, you can’t ignore the reality, and the reality is the Kremlin of Putin. I don’t like the reality, but that doesn’t change it.” As may be expected, the disbanding of the party is fiercely opposed by Boris Nemtsov and Nikita Belykh. Perhaps the most preposterously naive quote from this story comes from Olga Kryshtanovskaya, who thinks that this new state controlled party could eventually take on a life of its own: “The opposition is so divided now, it could take 20 years for them to unite. But if it wants to, the Kremlin could do it in two years. . . . It could be creating something it can’t completely control.” Ridiculous. My first thought? Didn’t we already have a fake opposition party controlled by the government during the last election? Oh yes, it was called Just Russia. How did that pan out? Giving any level of credibility to this attempt at potemkin democracy is a grave mistake in our opinion.