“Parliamentary elections in Russia matter to the West inasmuch as they are a barometer of the degree of political competitionand or repression inside Russia,” writes Prof. Angela Stent, while Carnegie’s Tatiana Stanovaya argues that the election “detects internal splits … within the ruling elite over the problem of how to deal with the ruling party,” thus helping “us to better understand the nature of decision making in the Russian leadership.” Carnegie’s Andrei Kolesnikov writes that “the fight against so-called foreign agents and undesirable organizations will continue,” which “along with the Kremlin’s historical policy of describing Russia’s entire history as a defense against the West, is at the heart of current ideology and propaganda.” Meanwhile, Director of the Levada Center Denis Volkov notes that the West does not “show much interest in parliamentary elections in Russia, not considering routine diplomatic inquiries, purely academic observations and rather ritualistic denunciations of the non-democratic character of Russian elections.”



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