Russia Expert: Widespread Election Fraud Taints Putin
Vladimir Putin, left, with Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, center, and outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, at the Rosa Khutor ski resort in Krasnaya Polyana on March 8. Berlusconi flew to Russia for a lavish dinner with Putin after his old ally's victory in the March 4 presidential election. (DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images)
March 8, 2012
| Security
| Russia and Central Asia
Long-time former CIA analyst Jack Caravelli says the election fraud committed in the March 4 Russian presidential election appears to have been widespread, with Putin receiving more votes in some areas than there are registered voters. This, he says, calls into question the integrity of the election result and “goes to the heart of the political problems that Putin is going to confront as he resumes serving as Russian president.”
The March 4 election results showed Putin easily defeating his rivals, winning 64 percent of the vote, compared with 17 percent for the Communist Party candidate, Gennady Zyuganov, and just under 8 percent for billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the owner of the New Jersey Nets. Demonstrators gathered the next day in the center of Moscow in reaction to reports of “carousel” voting – where Putin supporters were bussed from one polling place to another, to another and ballot boxes were reportedly pre-stuffed with votes. Close to 500 protesters were arrested after refusing to disperse.

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