What do elections look like in a country with no opposition?

Alexei Navalny is in jail, his top associates have fled to Europe, his grassroots political organisation has been dismantled and outlawed. And the clampdown didn’t stop at Navalny, writes Oliver Carroll

Wednesday 14 July 2021 00:01
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<p>‘The outcome of this election, after all, appears long decided’</p>

‘The outcome of this election, after all, appears long decided’

With a parliamentary vote now just weeks away, Russia is officially in election season. But bar a few party posters scattered around town, you would struggle to guess.

The outcome of this election, after all, appears long decided. It would be a major upset if candidates from non-Kremlin parties were to secure just one of the 450 seats on offer.

Even before the political metamorphoses of Russia’s 2021, things were predictable enough. All things being equal, the system would have returned respectable numbers for Kremlin parties through fair means or foul.

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