the home of online investigations

You can support the work of Bellingcat by donating through the following link:

Coercion and Corruption: Following Russia’s 2016 Election Season

September 13, 2016

By Lincoln Pigman

Russia’s parliamentary elections on September 18th come at a critical moment for Vladimir V. Putin, whose party, United Russia (Edinaya Rossiya), is losing popular support amid economic crisis. Though Putin himself has remained insulated from national dissatisfaction, United Russia has not, threatening the party’s dominance and Putin’s own interests. After all, it is from United Russia that Putin’s successor, should he choose not to run in 2018, will come; and it is United Russia’s deputies in the Duma, currently possessing a majority, who will push through controversial bills such as this summer’s anti-terrorism laws. The upcoming elections offer Putin a chance to re-legitimize his party and protect his interests in the parliament.

With stakes that high, it is unsurprising that attacks on the opposition and instances of electoral misconduct have spiked in recent months. But few individuals, if any, are being punished for it. Russia’s accountability vacuum is such that even with a reform-oriented official like Ella A. Pamfilova at the helm of the Central Election Commission (Tsentral’naya izbiratel’naya komissiya), those guilty of intimidating opposition politicians or engaging in electoral misconduct are unlikely to be prosecuted or penalized. It’s a situation made all the more egregious by the frequency with which perpetrators are caught on camera by journalists, bystanders, politicians, and activists.

Coercing Russia’s Opposition

Violence against the opposition, while mostly non-lethal, is becoming a norm in Russia. A report released this summer by the Center for Economic and Political Reforms (Tsentr ekonomicheskih i politicheskih reform) found that, halfway through the year, 2016 was already well on its way to becoming the most violent year for the opposition in recent history: while 2014 saw 60 attacks, 2016 had already witnessed 55 by the end of June.

Overwhelmingly, perpetrators of political violence belong to ultra-conservative elements in Russian society. Though these include Cossacks, for the most part, it is so-called national liberation groups that carry out attacks against the opposition. Organizations like Antimaidan and the National Liberation Movement (Narodno osvoboditel’noe dvizhenie, or NOD), see Russia as being perpetually at war with the West and Russia’s opposition as a fifth column. Opposition leaders such as Aleksei A. Navalny of the Party of Progress (Partiya progressa) and Mikhail M. Kasyanov of the People’s Freedom Party (Partiya narodnoy svobody, or PARNAS) are regularly harassed on the grounds that they serve foreign masters.

Throughout 2016, assailants have exploited knowledge of their targets’ campaigning schedules, which allows them to pursue candidates, most notably Kasyanov, across the country. From February to August, Kasyanov was harassed or attacked a total of six times. Of these instances, three took place in, or in front of, hotels where Kasyanov was staying; one occurred in an event hall he was due to speak at; and another saw him confronted in a restaurant he was dining at.

Other opposition politicians, including Navalny, who was assaulted after exiting a Novosibirsk courthouse in March and ambushed at an Anapa airport by Cossacks in May, have also had their itineraries used against them. More worryingly, some opposition figures, like PARNAS’ Aleksandr Bragin and Solidarity’s (Solidarnost’) Igor Ivanov, have been viciously assaulted in front of their very homes. In the former case, the attackers laid in wait for Bragin, who was attacked en route to his car; in the latter, Ivanov was lured out of his apartment when the assailants called him, claiming to have accidentally damaged his car.

Screenshot from a video posted by Alla Naumcheva showing attacks from the NOD and SERB movements. (source)

Screenshot from a video posted by Alla Naumcheva showing attacks from the NOD and SERB movements. (source)

Attackers’ tactics include throwing eggs, feces, cakes, and condoms (a humiliating experience for any public figure), striking with blunt objects, punching, kicking, and even firing non-lethal “traumatic pistols.” One particularly creative incident involved an attempt at forcibly putting a quilted jacket saying “Misha is a thief” onto Kasyanov, and underscored the often-theatrical dimension of political violence in Russia.

Whether by means of violence or humiliation, attackers aim to coerce opposition politicians into withdrawal from the public eye at a time when visibility and outreach are key to political success. In Kasyanov’s case, safety concerns led to the cancellation of at least one campaigning event, in Nizhny Novgorod.

Subverting Russia’s Democracy

Ultimately, it is impossible to deter all of Russia’s opposition politicians using coercion, an obstacle circumvented by subverting the democratic process itself. Electoral misconduct takes many forms, and seems to be especially pervasive this election cycle: by September 9th, 1,330 complaints had been registered with Golos, an election-monitoring organization threatened with liquidation by the Ministry of Justice.

For one, United Russia’s dominance enables candidates to use government resources for campaigning, a violation that is technically grounds for de-registering a political candidate, with impunity. Aware of their immunity, candidates, like Gennady G. Onishchenko and Ivan M. Teterin, tend to do so openly.

In August, Onishchenko was caught on video meeting with voters in a governmental social welfare center in Moscow. In the video, the center’s director, Ilya R. Bestavashvili, made no secret as to the fact that Onishchenko was holding a campaign event, and even invited the journalist filming to register as an Onishchenko supporter. When he refused to, Bestavashvili promptly asked that someone call the police. The following day, Yabloko candidate Dmitry G. Gudkov filed a complaint against Onishchenko with the Central Election Commission, which has yet to exclude the United Russia candidate from the September elections. Onishchenko also appears to have enlisted public service workers to put up campaign ads around Moscow.

Screen capture of a meeting

Screen capture of a meeting with Bestavashvili and Onishchenko in Moscow. (source)

Teterin, another Moscow candidate, isn’t particularly subtle, either. Using his position as president of the Academy of the Ministry of Emergency Situations’ (Ministerstvo po chrezvychainym situatsiyam) State Firefighting Service (Gosudarstvennaya protivopozharnaya sluzhba), Teterin secured a fire truck in order to cut his travel time in half when campaigning.

Footage captured Teterin driving the fire truck down ulitsa Akademika Korolyova and meeting with the residents of house 8. “I suggest that, in these elections, you support our president,” Teterin told them, conflating Putin and his party. After all, he reasoned, “the president should have [a majority in] the Duma in order to execute his decisions.” Demonstrating United Russia’s legal immunity, a nearby policeman refused to hear out the formal complaint of the opposition activists filming. Like Gudkov, the Party of Progress’ Nikolai N. Lyaskin has filed a complaint against his United Russia opponent. Like Onishchenko, Teterin has yet to be de-registered as a candidate.

Screen capture of a fire truck going down ulitsa in Moscow. (source)

Screen capture of a fire truck going down ulitsa Akademika Korolyova in Moscow en route to a meeting with voters. (source)

A tweet, posted several days before, suggested that the fire truck incident hadn’t been Teterin’s first offense that week. On August 23rd, Teterin attended the unveiling of a Moscow playground, an accomplishment that he attributed to United Russia, not the government, whose funds had been used to build it. A similar situation occurred on the 20th, when United Russia’s Vladislav Lyumin joined party volunteers in restoring a Novosibirsk playground. When locals approached the team, filming them and pointing out that bribing voters (such as by “providing services free of charge or on favorable terms”) is illegal, the policemen present tried to de-escalate the situation and send the locals on their way rather than acknowledge the violation taking place. Meanwhile, the volunteers called the locals (their constituents) “scum” and “shameless,” with one advising that the woman filming should “get off the road, fat creature.”

Even less subtle was United Russia’s drive on September 1st, the start of the academic year in Russia. The “Day of Knowledge” was marked by the party’s efforts to insert itself into the first day of school across Russia, in clear violation of a law prohibiting party activities inside state or municipal educational institutions. In Moscow, schools 820 and 1515 distributed calendars to schoolchildren featuring the slogan “Make the sound choice!” and a link to Onishchenko’s website. School 31 in Kaliningrad celebrated by parading with United Russia flags, while in Berdsk, children received schedules with the United Russia logo. Meanwhile, the headmaster of a Moscow school took a unique approach to abusing his authority to help United Russia, conscripting schoolchildren to campaign for candidate Pavel G. Zelenkov.

Photograph of a calendar given to schoolchildren at School No. 820 in Moscow by United Russia. (source)

Photograph of a calendar given to schoolchildren at School No. 820 in Moscow by United Russia. (source)

In a sign of a topdown propaganda campaign, members of the Sverdlovsk regional government were instructed to promote United Russia during school visits on September 1st, giving prepared speeches that outlined the government’s accomplishments. “It is absolutely necessary to come to the elections and vote,” an excerpt from the speech read. “It is absolutely necessary to support President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and the president’s party. Only then will our plans … materialize.”

As indicated by the high number of complaints registered with Golos, misconduct is taking place on an astonishing scale. Some incidents suggest that election commissions themselves may also be compromised. In May, Natalia N. Ovcharenko, a member of a vote-counting commission in Sevastopol, harassed people registering to vote, telling them to support United Russia’s Dmitry A. Belik. When criticized by a volunteer, she warned that “Dmitry Anatolyevich will speak to you later.” Whether credible or not, Ovcharenko’s threat speaks to the fact that corruption is present throughout Russia’s electoral institutions, and represents a potent force benefitting United Russia, whatever Pamfilova says.

Speaking at the Carnegie Moscow Center in July, researchers Andrei Kolesnikov and Boris Makarenko predicted that after the protests of 2011-12, creating an air of legitimacy would be chief among the government’s priorities in September. Between the incidents described above and the recent coup de grâce dealt to Russia’s Levada Center for its research on United Russia’s falling support, there is little legitimacy to speak of so far. With the 2016 election season marked by acts of violence, attempts at intimidation, and blatant violations of the law, all highlighting the Russian government’s disregard for its own legal regime, September 18th is unlikely to end with a victory for the opposition.

Loose Threads

Going forward, there are multiple routes for additional open source investigation into these incidents and into this month’s parliamentary elections in Russia. Some of these topics that need additional investigation, and are topics for aspiring open source researchers looking for a subject to research, are…

  • Are there any particular individuals who can be tracked among multiple videos showing attacks against opposition figures?
  • Can we monitor potential instances of “carouseling” (transporting buses of people to vote at multiple locations) through live video streams during the elections?
  • On the 18th, will election monitors be subject to the same violence encountered by opposition politicians? As with carouseling, can we track the treatment of monitors on election day?
  • Are there Central Election Commissions that have responded to local complaints about electoral misconduct? In these voting areas, how well did opposition parties fare?
Lincoln Pigman

Russo-American. Student of War Studies at King's College London, freelancer featured in The New York Times and IHS Jane's Intelligence Review.

Join the Bellingcat Mailing List:

Enter your email address to receive a weekly digest of Bellingcat posts, links to open source research articles, and more.

114 Comments

  1. John Zenwirt

    Game Changer: Combining Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and AEGIS Missile Defense.

    Integrating the stealthy new fighter into the NIFC-CA network will allow the jet to provide over-the-horizon targeting for Aegis cruisers and destroyers to defeat incoming threats. Moreover, the F-35 will be able to provide targeting data to the rest of the fleet from inside a zone defended by advanced Russian or Chinese air defense systems such as the S-400 or HQ-9.

    http://tinyurl.com/hfuhodn (NationalInterest)

    Reply
    • stranger

      John, we had started a nice talk about the poetry, and you are again about the war and military toys of overgrown children.
      You are distracting from the topic of the article btw, are you an FSB agent under cover?

      Reply
    • stranger

      Russia has a nuclear defence which has always been a guarantee against any possible foreign invasion. So nobody takes the NAT0 parades, bragging and any modernization of their conventional weapon seriously. Except the new anti missiles in the Eastern Europe and in the long run. Two years ago I would never ever believe that NAT0 may ever threat or invade Russia or now Crimea. Now I think the nuclear defence is not so useless thing to ensure the sovereignty.
      The economical pressure and propaganda targeted first of all to own western audience is what is going to be applied instead. That way also has its limits and I don’t believe US will be able to keep Europe from doing business with Russia for a long time. I believe that European business interests sooner or later will prevail over politics.
      If Russia is able to withstand now the highest external pressure applied economically, politically and ideologically, it will be able to conduct an independend external policy and will be respected or at least taken into account. From that prospective I see no any other choice for Russia and not really too much space for maneuver. What is going on is not a Putin’s malicious plot and Russian hawkish ‘nationalistic’ ambitions, that is rather a stalemate nobody really knows how to get out from.
      That happens when the bloodshed at Donbass is over, everything depends on how soon it happens now. I believe Europe is starting to push Ukraine now for the political package of Minsk.
      Russia has never ever in history since Mongols given in to the external pressure. She is good only in destroying itself from inside. But not this time, sorry.
      Just my own impression and IMHO.

      Reply
        • stranger

          Rick, do you read at least something from my posts?? Even Mad Dog has praised me for not voting for UR. 🙂 You sound like a jammed gramophone disk – ‘Russian trolls around’, ‘Putin is everywhere’ LOL

          Reply
  2. Mad Dog

    Yes, John is an FSB agent and he is just trying to ferret you out and put you away somewhere very cold.

    Getting back to the original post, how about some news on opposition media. Where can we look for dissenting views. Or can this only be found on the Net.

    You must realize that many people who post here and those who run this site do not have a grudge against Russia per se. I have never expressed anything but sympathy and respect to the Russians, but the actions of this government reek of Soviet times and that sickens me. And Putin just continues to strengthen his grip on the country. How many governors are related to Putin in one way or another. How many have been elected by the populace of their regions. As far as I can tell, 76 are from United Russia, 2 commies and 6 independents. Gee, that sounds really balanced, doesn’t it. Do you see any nepotism there????

    Reply
    • stranger

      “John is an FSB agent and he is just trying to ferret you out ” I knew that! He has been providing me grotesque and easy to debunk material and I didn’t figure that out and even criticized him. John, you are uncovered, Mad Dog said you are from FSB! 🙂

      You can look at the Echo of Moscow web site, Dozhd’ TV channel (it might be only on the internet now), Meduza, Novaya Gazeta, US congress sponsored Radio Liberty again, for the resources specializing in the strictly opposing material. There are a number of ‘egg head’ magazines who are not specializing in politics, but criticize a lot like Slon may be and others. I’m giving you all the ‘trump cards’.

      You of course have a sympathy to Russian, by saying like ‘all national minorities are returning to hunt Russia’. I cannot read thoughts, i’m saying what I see, and I see that the attitude of many commenters is biased against Russia or, alright- Putin, which sometimes is used interchangeably. I see the distinct bias of the bellingcat authors and editors by the preselecting and focusing on certain small topics and ignoring the others even if we take all their materials themselves for granted.

      The governors elections were abolished right after Beslan. The Russian regions include also Chechnya and also the Far East. Russia is very large is very loosely connected country – 9000 km from the east to the west. Russian identity is related not to the Russian ethnicity as for small broke away national if not nationalistic states (ethnicity is not a good tone to even mention in Russia regardless of some ethnical tensions which always exists) , but to the unity of different nations and territories which constitute the country and the independent external policy and a kind of own historical way. That is beyond Putin. That is very different from such ‘tough guys’ as Iran, don’t even compare. Russia anyway is more European country. I don’t know what is better and if the local elections of governors may potentially lead to the disconnection between the regions, local small czars, and possibly the country’s collapse. I don’t know. Putin is not free in what he doing due to pure objective circumstances whether he is doing it right or wrong. We can compare Russia to itself in 90s, not to small wealthy European countries or the completely special case the United States, which is unique by various aspects.

      Reply
      • stranger

        I mean – Russia is an European country due to mutual history and culture. It used to be quite an European empire and quite comparable and competitive to the other European empires except the remote colonies of the others. The paths diverted only on the communist revolution and the following cold war especially after WW2. We can dig deeper and say that Russia inherits from Byzantium religion and mentality while Europe has been catholic and protestant, but that is a kind of the lower magnitude of significance.

        Reply
        • stranger

          Rick is just a kind of a troll who is trying to insult opponents personally in order to overbalance and provoke a sharp answer and in order to discredit the commenters in the perception of others. That is the simplest and a quite stupld trolling tactic, which doesn’t require a lot of efforts, nor knowledge.

          Reply
  3. Mad Dog

    This is the kind of thing that happens in a variety of elections in the US. It is part of a democracy, part of the reason why the voice of the people can be heard in one way or another; The other narrative is partisan realignment. To put it bluntly, over the past decade in Colorado, the Democrats moved to the center, while the Republicans went nuts. (Top Colorado Republicans and Democrats alike agreed with this assessment.) Local Democratic candidates, aided by a cabal of wealthy donors, began emphasizing quality-of-life issues like education and public safety; Republicans kept putting up Tea Party-inspired fringe candidates who said outlandish things and emphasized divisive cultural issues. The middle-class soccer moms of places like Centennial started to peel away.

    So, when people get fed up with craziness, the have the power to change things, whereas in Russia, that usually includes bloodshed. Do you the difference and so you see why I have sympathy for the Russian people?

    Reply
    • stranger

      You are idealizing US, the country which is rather different from Europe, has own driving forces and the unique history.

      Reply
      • Mad Dog

        Naw, not idealizing at all. With all of the faults present, there is still need for repair, but it is a far far cry from the stuff I mentioned above. You can make some weak excuses, but 76 from one party??? Egads man, that is Putinism taken to the extreme.

        OK, I can agree with you about European Russia, probably one of the reasons the best looking architecture in the country is pre-1917. Beautiful buildings, pleasant atmosphere, not very existent in areas outside of Moscow or Leningrad (sic). But many of the people responsible for that era were hunted down, even after WWII. My buddy wrote a book on foreigners in pre-war China, interviewing hundreds of people. Here is an excerpt: 1945: The Kwantung Army officially surrendered on the 19th of August. The following day, General Pliev’s Soviet-Mongolian Mechanized Cavalry Group materialized just north of Peking. Marshal Rodion Malinovsky’s Trans-Bakail Front captured Mukden, then drove on to take Port Arthur. Further east, units of General Maxim Purkayev’s 2nd Far East Front captured southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. Stalin halted the military advance on August 23rd. It took months longer to kill or capture all the Japanese troops within Soviet-controlled areas, and to send them to Siberia. The Soviets eventually claimed 87,000 enemy dead and 594,000 taken prisoner.
        They made no reports on political targets picked off by the NKVD. Maverick White Russian leader Grigory Semyonov, captured in Dairen, was taken to Moscow to be hanged. In Harbin, especially, Russians disappeared, taken from their homes at night or pushed into cars cruising the streets by day. Some would never be heard from. In other cases, after years, relatives would receive instructions to send money, clothing and food for the duration of a sentence, and would know full well that the bulk of their gifts sustained the jailers and their masters far more than the prisoners.
        The Soviets used whatever subterfuge suited their purpose. Two dozen leaders of Harbin’s various Jewish communities were invited together to Joseph Kaspé’s Hotel Moderne, for a discussion of administrative policy. All were abducted together and swallowed by the vast Soviet system of prison camps.
        A Soviet army unit captured Manchukuo puppet emperor Kang Te. In 1950 this tragic little figure, otherwise known as Pu Yi, last emperor of the Ch’ing dynasty, was handed to the Chinese communists, to be interned for nearly ten years.
        Anticommunist White Guard officers fled Harbin and other parts of Manchuria for Tientsin. Many were rounded up there and shot. A number of Russian leaders were lured to Peking on the premise that their information was highly valued. Few, if any, survived the betrayal that awaited them there.
        Some of the Russians born in Tientsin went to Manchuria to welcome the Soviets. They were handed over to firing squads. The Soviets advertised among the emigrés for interpreters. Most of those who responded were rewarded with a few weeks of work, then the standard 25 years at hard labor in Siberia. Lists provided by the Soviet Consulate and agents such as Pastuhin’s deputy Karaev, meant the Soviet Union would be ready for other Russians repatriated later.” This kind of stuff is what I was alluding to when referring to nationalities returning to haunt Russia. It still goes on today, one of the reasons we still keep hearing about Chechnyan terrorists. All they wanted in the beginning was their homes back, despite being brutalized by Stalin, yet all they got in return was death and destruction and now a real sadist madman as leader/governor/petit emperor. So, yes, I have a lot of sympathy for the Russian people of all ethnicities, as well as the LGBT community and the “insane” dissidents (Sakarov was labelled insane, wasn’t he?).

        So, do you like the tune Katusha??

        Reply
        • stranger

          Yedinaya Rossia (United Russia) is not exactly a political party in the common understanding of this word. That is an unity of high positioned functionaries as well as just well known people such as popular artists, sportspeople etc. So that’s why it is referred to as a party of the government, rather than a party with a distinct political program. So no wonder most of governors are from this party – what’s first eggs of chickens – the result is the same. Communists are also not really communists. Other parties are even more vague. The only small opposition parties are PARNAS and the new one sponsored by Khodorkovskiy. There are also some individually participating candidates usually sponsored by parties.
          That ‘political system’ stems from 90s, beginning of 2000s. Google Yedinaya Rossia and how it was related to Boris Berezovskiy – you would definitely find it curious. The last truly independent parliament was shot from tanks by Yeltsyn in 1993, do you remember that reportage from BBC where tanks fired directly to the parliament building? So that started long before Putin and it was not Putin to create.
          I didn’t mean exactly ‘insa_ne’ opposition, let’s replace it with ‘sound’ or ‘meaningful’. I meant their programs are vague, populistic or unrealistic. In case such programs even exist, usually it’s just as in the western media – Putin is the root of all evil, ‘he steals and doesn’t let us to steal’ (that was a genius phrase by Kasparov and Navalnyy).
          Tell me why you, or the west in general, considered Yeltsyn a democrat and welcomed him when he literally fired on own parliament from tanks, and oligarchs who ruled on his behalf when he became drunk and weak, founded the basis of our today’s system, while Putin is now a dictator for the west? Because Yeltsyn gave up all Russian external interests, because he continued the destruction of all soviet inheritance? Gorbachev thought that they are modernizing the country, that they would make the country more open to the west and voluntary destroy the Warsaw Bloc and withhold from Eastern Europe. Instead US thought they won the cold war and wouldn’t really care about the lost side.
          I mean we always tend to get to the trap, when we are discussing abstract ideas, like wow democracy, wow liberalization, no dictatorship, freedom to the masses, etc, etc. Communists came under similar mottos. But in reality there are quite particular and always dirty political interests and the undercarpet fighting of interested influential parties behind that screen for mass dummies. When propaganda doesn’t work – the military force is added, and we get back to the old barbarian balance of powers. We in Russia have seen that, you in the west are probably more naïve and don’t have the immunity against propaganda. Not everybody in the west of course, the specialists or those who are interested – know perfectly, just the mass perception influenced by mass media. I’m exaggerating a bit of course in order to illustrate.

          Reply
        • stranger

          Your historical excerpt is rather interesting. I don’t quite understand how it is related to ethnical minorities. You used the word ‘haunt’, sorry i misread it as ‘hunt’, though in the context you probably meant the same. My immediate association was with the collapse of USSR when Russian (as well as other minorities, remember Armenia-Azerbaijan, many and many others) started to being pursued, discriminated or sometimes simply slaughter in all former republics of the former USSR. There was more physical violence in Caucasus and Middle Asia, more intelligent discrimination and deprivation of civil rights in Baltic countries. There are still up to 6-8% of non-citizens living in Estonia, mostly Russians. That’s why Baltics were so afraid and called for NAT0 parades and created the centers of propaganda against Russia, even though Russia has never ever threatened them. Chechnya should not be idealized as well. Between the first and second Chechen wars when Russia actually withdrew from Chechnya and left them along, there was a lot of violence there including real slavery, including kidnaping for the ransom, including the radical Islam exported from the middle east. So regardless of how bad Kadurov is, he is keeping the republic from the violence, Islamic radicalization and quite possible new wars.
          Again just my personal view, even though some may think it is from a Kremlin guidebook, or if some would say – ah, crazy russian, all of them are crazy, not all, I’m talking only for myself.

          Reply
        • stranger

          Bolsheviks destroyed the country, eliminated the elite of czar government, old Russian traditions, under great mottos of the social justice and equality. Who argues? That’s why your argument against Stalin sounds like a breaking into an open door.
          WW2 was more than devastating and who knows where it had turned otherwise.
          The second (or third already) time the country was destroyed by ‘liberal-democrats’ (in quotes) on the collapse of USSR, under even greater mottos of social justice, equality and wealth-ness.
          That is one of the reasons why Russians hate revolutions. We don’t want to repeat and start it all over. There are some forces outside Russia who would love a revolution in Russia for exactly the same reason.

          Reply
  4. John Zenwirt

    LONDON — A Russian whistle-blower seeking refuge in Britain dies in bizarre circumstances. There is talk of arcane poison and organized crime. British intelligence services stonewall, citing the imperative of national security without saying why.

    Those spy-thriller ingredients might recall the case of Alexander V. Litvinenko, a onetime K.G.B. officer who died after ingesting green tea laced with radioactive polonium 210 in November 2006. The murder, a British judge ruled in January, had “probably” been approved by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

    Now, though, there is in an eerily similar drama. This month, a coroner in Woking, England, postponed an inquest into the death of another Russian émigré, Alexander Perepilichnyy, after the British authorities sought to prevent the disclosure of material deemed to be sensitive.

    http://tinyurl.com/jm39o9l (NYT)

    Reply
    • stranger

      In 2012? And nobody knew of that for 4 years until now? They mixed up everything: Litvinenko, Magnitskiy, Brawder and of course the conclusion is – Putin. I just hope the provocations against opposition or possibly even new political murders will not start in order to frame Russia. I don’t know who is behind that of course.

      Another joke from Poroshenko: “Ukraine will not get to the trap of peace agreements”
      http://rus.newsru.ua
      Germany is starting to push again. Sorry.

      Reply
    • Dude

      John Z. the links you give via tinyurl crash my browser… Not sure if it is common occurence, but if yes, could you kindly give direct links ? Tnx!

      Reply
  5. John Zenwirt

    The last time Russia embraced greatness was in the Court of Catherine, she even brought Voltaire over to stay for a while…with Mr. Potemkin doing the expeditions to new lands…

    Reply
  6. Dude

    Exacty 50% + 2 members of future russian GosDupa will be illegitimate,
    merely because of inclusion of Crimea in the ‘voting’ process.

    And this is regardless of any usual vote counting frauds typical for rushka-world..

    It would be interesting to see what sort of response will the West develop to that…

    Reply
    • stranger

      Crimea is Russia now, accept it, and respect the opinion of Crimeans. The west will be pushing Ukraine to implement the political part of Minsk.

      Reply
      • Dude

        Omg, Comrsde “Stranger” has demonstrated again less than half-hour response time!

        Is this an updated, high-tech model of a Rushka-troll?
        Kudos to Comrade Major for intrudicung the newest developments of russian nanotechnologies into the mortal info combat with the rotten West!

        🙂

        Reply
        • stranger

          Well, some Ukr trolls here definitely would fail the Turing Test. So Russian nanotechnologies rule.
          🙂

          Reply
          • Dude

            If the interrogator in the turing test is a russian troll, no intelligent creature is able to pass such a test!

            Heheh..

          • Dude

            PS. Rushka trolls and rushka nanotechnologies rule in the field of “Artificial Stupidity”…

            🙂

          • stranger

            “Artificial Stupidity” is the epidemic, embraced our small brother nation. 🙂

  7. John Zenwirt

    In another election: “Right now, Trump has it all,” the Washington Post’s Robert Costa said on MSNBC on Friday morning. “He has his property debuting in D.C. He’s on every network. He’s at the center.”

    http://tinyurl.com/glb7p4n (Politico)

    latest polling show Clinton and Trump tied….

    Reply
    • Dude

      This is some unexpected mass delusion of Americans .. rushka style … They will be better off electing Justin Bieber or .. what’s their name … “oups she did it again”… or… ariadna grande… or shorty putler….

      🙂

      Reply
  8. John Zenwirt

    Former NATO Chief: Russia to Invade Poland, Start World War III ‘Overnight’

    “It is clear that Russia is capable of surprising the West… with potentially devastating implications for eastern Poland and fatal consequences to the Alliance,” warned General Shirreff.

    In a briefing document entitled “Arming for Deterrence” for the Atlantic Council think-tank the former military commander said that Putin could easily “artificially generate any pretext that suits his propaganda narrative” to justify war with the West in a matter of hours.

    http://tinyurl.com/jmeze6e (SputnikNews)

    Hey, this is Russian media, it must be true…

    Reply
    • stranger

      John, are you are helping to disseminate the Russian propaganda from Sputnik? I’ve suspected you are actually working for the other side. 🙂
      How do you imagine a global war with ‘the west’? It will be over in 40 min, the time intercontinental missiles fly. This time is more than enough to detect the trajectory and the destination and take off the other side’s missiles. All major cities of the both sides will be destroyed, there would be nothing and nobody to fight further. The nuclear winter will come.
      In case anybody would dare to press the button and others to execute the order. Hopefully nobody will.
      But the nuclear deterrence principle is based on the believe and even a reasoned trust of the other side that the nukes will be applied in the case of the global aggression. So it’s like a contradiction – nobody would ever going to use, but the other side should be sure it will be used.
      Did you see the awfull anti Russian BBC movie on the WW3? Curious movie anyway, but Russia is shown awfully. According to the legend, Russia nuked locally a Britain fleet. And over all the movie the Britain generals and experts are discussing how to respond and finally noble britains decided not to respond with nukes whatever happens, but according to the movie Americans did, and the movie ends up with the awaiting of the apocalypses.
      Seriously nobody would dare to even a local conflict which may potentially grow up to a global one. It is even strange to discuss that.

      Reply
    • stranger

      Here you go:
      http://rutube.ru/video/33a5d728ccaa9b12789f1544e44b58a7/
      Deblls!! I didn’t know it has two parts so it continues after the anticipation of the apocalypses scene. They really believe that after the first exchange of nuke strikes anything could be discussed or planned further. As if they make a hint – don’t afraid a local nuke war. Two years ago I would never believe we would discuss such things or such movies would be created. That resembles something from old soviet past.

      Reply
    • stranger

      oh, no, sorry, my first description was right. The ending is that noble Britons refuse to respond with nukes and are awaiting the apocalypses with a hint that Americans will not stop. The best ending they could invent – very British.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

You can support the work of Bellingcat by donating through the following link:

TRUST IN JOURNALISM - IMPRESS