The United Russia Machine

From this NPR story, a glimpse into the daily machinations of Russia’s ruling party:

Based in Saratov, Sergei Pochechuyev worked for United Russia as a political consultant until he broke ranks in 2008. He has written a book describing how the local party machine uses a mix of illegal activities and domination of every institution to destroy anyone deemed an enemy.

“United Russia gets its money from businessmen who understand there is only one power in this country,” Pochechuyev says. “If you want to succeed and have your problems solved, you need to pay into its coffers.”

With that money, Pochechuyev says he was the master of dirty tricks.

“Iwas given a list of names of those who needed to be discredited,” hesays. “It became easier and easier to put pressure as power wasincreasingly concentrated in the hands of Putin’s party. I could pay offeditors, judges, you name it, to take certain measures,” he says.

Pochechuyevnow says he helped create a monster. He has yet to find a publisher forhis book, and he has yet to find any viable opposition to Putin’spolitical machine.