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Putin Steals An Election, Obama’s State Department Cheers

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In Russia, democracy advocates are taking to the streets, according to this report: “A day after claiming an overwhelming victory in Russia’s presidential elections, Vladimir V. Putin on Monday faced a range of challenges to his legitimacy, including charges of fraud from international observers and a defiant opposition that vowed to keep him from serving his full six-year term.” The iron fist came down hard:

In Moscow, thousands of antigovernment protesters gathered in a city square to blast it as illegitimate, chanting “Russia without Putin,” and “Putin is a thief; we are the government!” When riot police demanded that the crowd disperse after a couple of hours, dozens of demonstrators encircled the blogger Aleksei Navalny, the most charismatic figure to emerge in this wave of activism, trying to prevent his arrest. But officers detained him anyway, pushing him into a police van along with most of the movement’s other prominent leaders. The police said 150 people were detained.

Another 300 people were detained after a similar event in St. Petersburg.

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