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Putin Crushes Last of Opposition Ahead of Parliament Elections

But the Kremlin is taking no chances, determined to ensure that the party wins another commanding majority in the State Duma, as the lower house of parliament is known. Putin has pitched in with promises of as much as 700 billion rubles ($9.6 billion) in pension and other spending this month.

“As long as the regime has enough financial resources, if it doesn’t make major mistakes that really stir up the population, it can survive,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R.Politik, a political consultancy. The Sept. 17-19 vote is its latest test.

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