Bush on Wednesday at a press conference, with Prime Minister Topolanek of the Czech Republic.
"If some of these countries develop a weapon that's capable of developing a nuclear warhead, free nations, nations such as Russia, do not want to be in a position of political blackmail."
Bush staunchly cites Russia as a free nation with free elections to choose its president. As we know Bush equates democracy almost exclusively with having elections, ballotocracy as one wag put it..But ballot stuffing is not democracy, except in Bush's uncomplicated mind.
On Sunday Russia will have an 'election' to decide the next President..The precise results have been known for weeks even to Bush. 'Medveda - whatever" will win 72% of the vote. It can't be more than 72%, the figure Putin achieved in the last presidential election of 2004. After the polls close, is when Medvedev of Putin's 'United Russia' party will get most of his votes..
The Kremlin is planning to falsify the results of this Sunday's presidential election in Russia by compelling millions of public sector workers to vote and by fraudulently boosting the official turnout after polls close, the Guardian has learned.
Governors, regional officials, and even headteachers have been instructed to deliver a landslide majority for Dmitry Medvedev - Russia's first deputy prime minister, whom President Vladimir Putin has endorsed to be his successor.
Officials have been told they need to secure a 68% to 70% turnout in this weekend's poll - with around 72% casting votes for Medvedev. However, independent analysts believe the real turnout will be much lower - with between 25% and 50% of the electorate taking part (because of indifference).
The Kremlin is planning to bridge the gap by the use of widespread fraud, diplomats and other independent sources have told the Guardian. Local election officials are preparing to stuff ballot boxes once the polls have closed with unused ballots, they believe, with regional officials also giving inflated tallies to Russia's central election commission.
Karl Rove would be mightily impressed. To complete the charade, Putin has permitted a few eccentric candidates to run but,
No real critics of outgoing President Vladimir Putin have been allowed to stand for starters. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a Jew-baiting ultranationalist, and Gennady Zyuganov, the Communist party boss, are making token stands.
Joining them for his election debut is the even more bizarre figure of Andrei Bogdanov, a Kremlin stooge planted to discredit liberals. Mr Bogdanov, a portly freemason with straggly hair, wants to take Russia into Nato and the European Union, a platform which endears him to 0.2 percent of the population, according to opinion polls.
Which leaves Dmitry Medvedev, Mr Putin's old friend and choice for successor, who has not bothered to campaign at all.
Bush doesn't want to characterize Medvedev as Putin's puppet, but there is no doubt who is pulling 'Meveda-whatever's' strings and monitoring every step he takes
b>Update: I suppose that it would have been a little unseemly giving Medvedev the exact same percentage as Putin, so he will end up getting just a little less. 'Exit' polls have at 69.6 % of the vote.
'The Daily Telegraph' again,
The general belief is that Mr Medvedev is destined to become a non-entity, a cipher through which Mr Putin - who was constitutionally forbidden to run again - will continue to rule.
Any hopes that Mr Medvedev could emerge as a leader in his own right have been undercut by his style. This week Kremlin connected spin doctors revealed that Mr Medvedev had been given voice coaching lessons in order to imitate his mentor's enunciation and rhetoric. He has also been taught how to mimic Mr Putin's gait.
In 1992, he shared a desk with Mr Putin - who is 10 years his senior - when the two men worked at the St Petersburg city hall, where former colleagues described his attitude as perpetually deferential.
Bush's soul mate, Putin has found his ultimate yes man, (for now) his Dan Quayle.
For an interesting discussion on 'the election' and the future of 'managed democracy' in Russia...listen to a group of Kremlinolgists.
Update: I suppose that it would have been a little unseemly giving Medvedev the exact same percentage as Putin, so he will end up getting just a little less. 'Exit' polls have at 69.6 % of the vote.
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