When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Russia

After Election Upheaval, Putin Brushes Off “Party Of Cheats And Thieves” Charges

Following his United Russia's narrow parliamentary victory, Putin responds to allegations of voter fraud, which have led to demonstrations and hundreds of arrests. Amongst party loyalists, the Russian leader stands his ground with a mix of imperi

Putin and his Akita guard dog
Putin speaks about the Russian election results
Kremlin
Andrei Kolcnikov


MOSCOW - Following the widely contested parliamentary elections, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has offered his most extensive comments on this week's events during a meeting at Moscow city hall with top members of his political party, United Russia.

Putin began his remarks in front of the regional party leaders by congratulating everyone on the parliamentary elections. "Although there were some losses," he conceded at the Tuesday evening gathering.

The Prime Minister mentioned that the results were particularly good in light of the irregularities in the elections that most parties have admitted existed. Putin specifically addressed the protests against alleged election violations. As usual, he found something to compare it too. "In Europe and in the rest of the world, there are millions of people protesting in the streets!" he said.

Putin obviously did not mean that millions of people worldwide were protesting the Russian election results. He was referring to millions of people demonstrating against the difficult economic situation; and here in Russia, he seemed to be saying: Well, there are just a couple thousand protesters, and it's not even clear why they are protesting.

Putin then went on to make further favorable comparisons between Russia and Europe: our inflation rates are decreasing, he said, while theirs are rising; we have a budget surplus, and let's not even talk about their budget problems.

Slated to run in March elections for a return to the Russian presidency in March, Putin also made reference to the latest protests against his political party, United Russia. "People are saying that the party in power is connected with election-stealing and corruption. But that is not the mark of any particular political party, that is the mark of power in general! It is something that those in power should fight, within society and among themselves."

The Prime Minister nevertheless admitted that it was not the first time that United Russia was called "the party of cheats and thieves." In fact, he said, it would be strange not to hear such criticisms. In the end, every ruling political party is accused of corruption, Putin said. Who else would have the chance to be corrupted?

Putin also called on the mass media to contribute to the fight against corruption, allowing himself one jab, saying that media, like any part of society, was also vulnerable to the same flaws as everyone else.

Adoration and advice

One of the party representatives, from the southern Urals, asked Putin how the party leadership could become as popular as Putin himself has become. "Although of course," added the politician, "it would be impossible to reach your level."

Putin responded, "Never promise something that you can not deliver. Never promise something that would cause the whole system to collapse. And always tell the truth."

Keep reading... Show less
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

Keep reading... Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch Video Show less
MOST READ