"Russia’s presidential election marked by unequal campaign conditions"

According to a report by the OSCE, Russia's recent presidential election has been (unsurprisingly) marred by electoral fraud. The report begins:

Although candidates in yesterday’s presidential election in the Russian Federation were able to campaign unhindered, conditions were clearly skewed in favour of one of the contestants, current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the international observers concluded in a statement issued today.

Although expected, this remains a systemic problem and worrisome turn of events.

(Via BBC News)

Mikhail Gorbachev Deems Russian Election Fraudulent

Mikhail Gorbachev

Former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, has today denounced Russia's controversial elections:

“With each passing day, more and more Russians have disbelieved that the announced elections results are honest,” he told Interfax news. “In my view, ignoring public opinion discredits the authorities and destabilises the situation.

“The leadership of the country should admit that numerous falsifications and ballot rigging have taken place, and the results that were announced do not reflect the voters’ will. Therefore, I believe they can make only one decision: to annul the elections results and conduct new ones.”

Although the rigging of the election is somewhat unsurprising, Gorbachev's statement is a shock. Protestors will undoubtedly find a renewed sense of legitimacy in their cause following widespread arrests yesterday.