`I cast my vote for those who love Russia as much as you love England' - World - News - The Independent

`I cast my vote for those who love Russia as much as you love England'

RUSSIAN TRICOLOURS fluttered in Samotechny Lane as residents of my Moscow neighbourhood walked through the fresh snow to vote in elections for a new State Duma. At School Number 1275, a policeman watched for terrorists and party agitators breaking the law against campaigning on polling day but he tolerated a reporter.

The voters emerging tended to divide into two kinds. Those prepared to be open with a foreign journalist had generally voted for Western-leaning liberal parties. Others were more cryptic, like the old man who said: "I have voted for those who love Russia as much as you love England. We were allies ... but now ... good old England does not support Russia." He was affronted by Western criticism of Moscow's solution to the problem of terrorism in Chechnya. His comment suggested he voted for the new Unity Party, endorsed by the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin.

Moscow's inner-city districts tend to be inhabited by thosewho think of themselves as the intelligentsia. Thus Samotechny Lane seemed to be producing a strong vote of confidence for Yuri Luzhkov, who is hoping for a new mandate as mayor of the capital. And for parliament my neighbours were voting in droves for Grigory Yavlinsky's liberal Yabloko Party. Alexei, a student, chose it because he liked a broadcast in which Mr Yavlinsky had asked: "If, over several years, a person goes on insisting that two plus two equals four, does that make him obstinate or principled?" Sofia, a middle-aged woman in a Persian lamb coat, and her daughter Natalia had also voted for Yabloko for that reason.

Another possible solution for a Russian disgruntled with Boris Yeltsin's reforms but not wanting to return to communism is to vote for Fatherland- All Russia, the bloc supported by Mr Luzhkov and led by the former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov. But nobody I spoke to had done so.

An out-and-out Kremlin opponent is likely to vote Communist but stereotypes can be misleading. Not all Communist supporters are elderly: Zalina, a journalist in her 30s, said she had voted for a nationalist linked to the Communist Party because her Orthodox priest had advised her to do so.

And not all pensioners are Communists. Galina Alexeyevna, so impoverished that she eats only bread, had voted for the Unity pro-Kremlin party. She liked Mr Putin, not so much for his Chechnya policy but because, at 47, he is relatively young. "We need someone like him instead of an old man who, as soon as he takes the top seat, starts to think it is a throne and he is tsar and God Almighty."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skies as 007 for first time
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Steven Gerrard celebrates after his late winner
champions leagueGerrard and Balotelli ensure victory
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week