Interesting piece over at the Times takes a look at the United Russia TV campaign ads, which in many ways sound like a dialogue from a psychologist’s chaise lounge: “Today we are successful in politics, economics, arts, sciences, sports,” says the announcer in one advertisement to a stirring brass accompaniment and images of Mr. Putin and other smiling Russians. “We have reasons for pride. We enjoy respect and deference. We are citizens of a great country, and we have great victories ahead. Putin’s plan is a victory for Russia!” Is the president’s party really worried that maybe citizens don’t feel proud to be Russian? Is there any political party out there with ads that would actually glumly comment “we are ashamed of our shortcomings and poor international image”? I guess we wouldn’t know, because no one else is allowed to have TV ads. The absence of ideology or even policy ideas in these ads is quite striking – who could disagree with them? See the video with subtitles over here.