Since no one wants to ask me to comment on [Valery] Rashkin and the moose, I will tell you myself.
This is punishment for disloyalty. Rashkin flirted with the Navalnists and now, after the elections, he is being punished. Punishment is the only means available to the authorities to react to disloyalty and it concerns everyone involved in the process, not just the opposition. Remember what happened to Poklonskaya.
I emphasize that, in this situation, talking about Rashkin’s personal qualities, alcoholism or hunting is simply meaningless, or rather inappropriate, because talking nonsense diverts the conversation away from the main point — the political terror practiced by the authorities.
Anyone who pokes their head up even a little bit is immediately pulled out, strung up and skinned real good. This is a metaphor for animal husbandry, not hunting. Don’t say that I’m exaggerating — it’s still terror, intimidation and the destruction of even minimal nodes of [anti-regime] organization. The authorities don’t need to engage in mass killings yet, because the opposition is peaceful and manageable.
P.S. Hunting should not be banned, but the use of weapons in hunting should be prohibited. if you want to kill a moose, go ahead: you have teeth and two legs.
Translated by the Russian Reader
Valery Rashkin, pictured during a Russian parliament session in March 2020. AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin/Euronews
Valery Rashkin: Russian MP accused of illegal hunting after elk carcass found in car Euronews
October 29, 2021
A Russian MP has been accused of illegal hunting after the remains of an elk were found in his car.
Valery Rashkin, a politician for the opposition Communist party, told Russian media that he was stopped by police while driving in Russia’s Saratov region.
Rashkin has stated that he and his companion did not shoot the animal and had planned to report the matter to the authorities.
“I believe this is a provocation,” he told the independent broadcaster RTVI on Friday.
Russian police said they were alerted to gunfire in the Lysogorsk district, 900 kilometres east of Moscow, and found a car at the scene of the incident.
“During the inspection of the car, the police found fragments of an elk carcass, an ax, and two knives with traces of blood,” they said in a statement.
The two men inside the car said they had only found the animal’s shot carcass and had “decided to butcher it,” police added.
The driver of the vehicle also refused to undergo a test for alcohol at the scene. Authorities later discovered two weapons cases, hidden in a bush near the remains of the elk.
“In one of them there was a hunting rifle with a night vision sight, and in the second there was a tripod and cartridges,” the police said.
“In addition, the cases contain a weapon permit and a hunting ticket issued in the name of V.F. Rashkin.”
“A criminal case was initiated on the fact of illegal hunting,” the regional interior ministry said in a statement.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said they had taken over the case following “great public outcry”.
“The involvement of the deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Valery Rashkin, in the incident is being verified,” they added in a statement.
As a Russian MP, Raskhin holds immunity from prosecution but lawmakers can be stripped of that privilege by a vote in parliament.
He could also be dismissed by the Duma if found guilty of hunting without a license, which carries a maximum prison sentence of two years.
Rashkin recently took part in several demonstrations, claiming that the Russian parliamentary elections were marred by electoral voting fraud.
We usually do not repost entire texts by third-party authors produced for other platforms and other channels. But now a new time has arrived, a time for solidarity, so such content will naturally appear here.
We begin with a text by the political scientist Boris Kagarlitsky, who was sentenced yesterday to ten days in jail posting on social media about the protests by [Valery] Rashkin and the Communist Party.
So, we yield the floor to Kagarlitsky. This was the last text he published before his arrest.
The actions of the Russian authorities in the wake of the elections appear, at first glance, clearly excessive vis-a-vis the political circumstances. In fact, almost everyone who was promised a seat was elected to the State Duma, and the opposition was routed, and even the internet is largely under control, but for some reason they still have been carrying out lawless raids on Communist Party lawyers, chasing down individual activists, expanding the lists of “undesirable organizations,” and opening new criminal cases against those who are already in prison or have fled abroad. They are behaving as if everything is about to collapse. Why? What is the source of their hysteria?
Without reliable information about what is happening inside the Kremlin, we can only draw some conclusions based on history and psychology. It seems that the reason for the regime’s nervousness is the regime itself, its own internal and insoluble contradictions.
Political scientists have been contemplating the prospects of Putin’s so-called transit for more than a year. Will Putin appoint an heir? Who will it be? The ruler’s health clearly leaves much to be desired, and the question of how long he will be able to exercise his powers is probably a matter of concern not only for pundits. Naturally, preparations for the transit have begun, and Putin himself must be involved in them in one way or another. But even if the president promises his entourage that he will take care of the future, he knows for certain that as soon as a successor is named, the current ruler’s [sic] grip on power will be shaken. Therefore, the transit will be readied, but it will not take place. As long as Putin is alive, he will not permit any final decisions to be made. If something happens to him, it will be too late to make decisions, and the process will develop spontaneously and catastrophically.
It is no surprise that this state of affairs has generated the most severe neurosis among people in and around the Kremlin. The transit has begun, but it does not end. Vital decisions are discussed and readied, but not made. The cruelest intrigues and conspiracies are hatched within the ruler’s entourage, but nothing comes of them. Threatening, unbearable uncertainty becomes an all-consuming element that ravages the mind. Everyone is afraid of everyone else; no one trusts anyone. Exactly as Freud would have it, fears and complexes are displaced. The form of this displacement is a crackdown against members of the opposition or those who have been labeled members of the opposition.
Irrational actions generate unforeseen, but absolutely predictable consequences. Loyal functionaries from the leadership of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) are being pushed into the radical opposition’s vacated niche, which is just as psychologically and emotionally unbearable for them as the endless transit, going nowhere, is for government officials. Maxim Kalashnikov has compared this to a situation in which a very weak radio receives a signal too strong for it, which totally fries its circuits. I think this analogy describes quite accurately what has been happening among Communist Party executives and staffers.
Political rationality requires the Kremlin to stop escalating the crackdown, take a breath and at least weigh the consequences of its decisions. But this will not happen, because the rationale for the regime’s behavior has nothing to do with managing the political process. It is no longer political scientists, but psychiatrists who should analyze the actions of the ruling circles.
Translated by the Russian Reader
A court in Moscow has sentenced Marxist theoretician and sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky to 10 days in jail for sharing content on social media promoting unpermitted protests by the Communist Party (KPRF) against the results of Russia’s recent parliamentary elections. Police arrested Kagarlitsky on Wednesday on his way to the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, where he is a lecturer.
Boris Kagarlitsky is also the director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, which Russia’s Justice Ministry designated as a “foreign agent” in 2018.
KPRF has refused to recognize the official results of electronic voting in Moscow, where online ballots propelled several candidates backed by the Mayor’s Office to victories over oppositionists. The Communist Party staged small protests on September 20 and 25, prompting a sweeping police crackdown in the days that followed.
A few days ago, the residents of Moscow’s Western Administrative District (ZAO) elected me as their MP. I know this because I myself stood up for every single vote over several nights and saw the tallies for each polling station. I am also grateful to everyone who supported me by voting electronically. And yet the remote electronic voting system has proven to be another tool in the hands of the fraudsters: they used it to steal the victory from us.
In recent days, a new political force has emerged in the west of Moscow, and we are not going away. Now our team is preparing a complaint to the Central Elections Commission and a petition to the court. We have big plans, and we especially need your support now.
Tomorrow, September 23, at 7:00 p.m., at the monument to Indira Gandhi (Lomonosovsky Prospekt subway station).
The most lethal proof of the falsification of electronic voting in Moscow is not even the eighty thousand “extra” votes compared to the issued ballots. That was pure ballot stuffing, despite the historian Alexei Venediktov’s swearing up and down that the system was reliably protected from ballot stuffing. But another figure is even more deadly: the 700,000 people who revised their vote, which is a third of all those who voted electronically. Who are these people?
How many of them are weirdos who didn’t know who to vote for until the last moment and changed their decision three times a day? Maybe they are restless souls who struggled with the painful choice between the “party of power” and the opposition? Or the even more painful choice between the Stalinist Communist Party and the unelectable Yabloko? Don’t you think it’s funny?
The vast majority of these 700,000 people were people who voted “under guidance” for the first time and were not afraid to redo their vote. I think it would not be too bold to assume that for every one of them who was not afraid, there was at least one voter who was afraid, who did not believe in the anonymity of their vote. Yes, the electronic voting system in Moscow (the pride of the historian Venediktov) works perfectly — as a powerful tool for administrative and corporate coerced voting.
We can conclude that coerced voting is becoming the main form of electoral fraud in the era of late Putinism. And that the society practically does nothing to resist it. It has finally become the norm. It is an important element of the neo-totalitarian transformation.
Statisticians Claim Half of Pro-Kremlin Votes in Duma Elections Were False
Jake Cordell Moscow Times
September 21, 2021
Half of all the votes cast for the ruling party in Russia’s parliamentary elections were likely fraudulent, according to analysis by independent statisticians.
The pro-Kremlin United Russia party won a landslide victory in Russia’s State Duma elections over the weekend, securing 324 of the lower chamber’s 450 seats — a supermajority that allows them to enact changes to the constitution.
Russia’s opposition has alleged massive election fraud, and videos flooded social media during the vote showing apparent ballot stuffing. Questions have also been raised over a significant delay in the publication of online voting results in the capital Moscow, which eventually overhauled the voting leads secured in the offline vote by opposition candidates.
Independent data scientists and analysts said Tuesday that half of all the votes attributed to United Russia in the official results were probably fake — a level of falsification previously unseen in Russian parliamentary elections.
Prominent physicist Sergei Shpilkin, who has become well-known for his post-election data analysis of possible fraud, estimated on Tuesday that genuine support for United Russia was around 31-33%, while actual nationwide turnout was probably 38%. That compares with official results that saw United Russia score 50% on an official turnout of 52% — suggesting that around 14 million of United Russia’s official votes were fraudulent.
The analysis is based on analyzing results across Russia’s 97,000 individual polling stations to find anomalies and outliers that hint at possible falsification. Statisticians focus on the host of polling stations that recorded high turnout and high vote shares for United Russia — a strong correlation that hints at ballot stuffing.
Because it is believed that falsification does not happen in every polling station, Shpilkin is able to identify the “core” level of support for United Russia and turnout from these “honest” locations. This is then compared with the outliers and polling stations that show high turnout and strong pro-Kremlin votes to estimate the number of votes that were likely falsified on a national scale.
Opinion polls before the election showed nationwide support for the ruling party were at historic lows of below 30%.
Other independent statisticians and election monitors have reached similar conclusions in the wake of the vote, which the opposition has called one of the most fraudulent in Russia’s history.
Alexei Kouprianov, a biologist and big data analyst, also estimated that real support for United Russia was around 30%, not the 50% recorded in the official results.
“The analysis shows that the level of falsification in 2021 was enormous,” he wrote on Facebook. “It is clear from the honest polling stations that support for United Russia is falling and that the Communist Party is growing.”
Data scientist Boris Ovchinnikov said that Shpilkin’s estimate that 50% of United Russia’s votes were falsified should be seen as the “lowest estimate.”
“Deeper analysis could result in a higher estimate for the share of falsification,” he said.
The election monitoring Golos organization, which was banned from observing the elections shortly before the vote, also estimated that around a third of the official votes were fraudulent — a figure which tallies with half, or more, of United Russia’s votes being false.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov hailed the “competitiveness, openness and honesty” of the elections, saying it was clear that “United Russia is the main preference of the voters.”
Moscow To Check Electronic Votes for State Duma in Recount Moscow Times
September 22, 2021
Moscow will conduct a recount of disputed electronic votes for seats in Russia’s lower house of parliament that will have no legal force, the head of the Moscow election observation headquarters Alexei Venediktov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday.
“Everyone is asking about the technical group’s recount of the votes, this, of course, is not a legal recount, this is a reconciliation in order to confirm suspicions or not confirm suspicions that it was counted incorrectly,” RIA quoted Venediktov as saying.
Russia’s opposition raised questions over the legitimacy of the results of the elections after the pro-Kremlin United Russia party won a landslide victory and took every district in Moscow.
E-voting results reversed early leads secured in the offline vote by opposition candidates and Kremlin-endorsed candidates saw huge swings in their favour and won every district after online votes were tallied.
Independent data scientists and analysts said that half of all the votes attributed to United Russia in the official results were probably fake — a level of falsification previously unseen in Russian parliamentary elections.
Questions have also been raised over a significant delay in the publication of online voting results.
Venediktov, managing editor of the Ekho Moskvy radio station, has come under fire for his overseeing and promotion of e-voting in Moscow.
“Former journalist Venediktov is a criminal and should be in the dock for his participation in electoral fraud,” allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny tweeted from his account.
The first two texts were translated by the Russian Reader.
Unsurprisingly, the Navalny organization’s Smart Voting app recommends that people on my “home” street in Petersburg vote for the real Boris Vishnevsky. If you have a favorite address in Russia, try the app out to see the recommended candidate. ||| TRR
I am terribly annoyed by the word byudzhetniki [state sector employees], when it is used in relation to those [whose superiors] try and corral them into voting a certain way. And it’s not just that I worked in the public schools for almost twenty years and would have liked to see them try and force me to vote in a certain way. The fact is that the system of coerced corporate loyalty works exactly the same in the private sector as in the state sector. It is exactly the same in private companies. The byudzhetnik is largely a bogey of the liberal mindset. Do you think it is more difficult to make an employee of a private company “fall into rank” than a state employee? Just take a look at Google.
“@novaya_gazeta !! The ballot box at Polling Station 98 in Sevastopol is being stuffed right now, Novaya Gazeta’s correspondent reported. This can be seen on the video surveillance system. About 20 minutes after the site closed, a man is stuffing ballots, and a woman is helping him. Video: Nadezhda Isayeva, Novaya Gazeta.”
“A member of the [election] commission, [her head] covered with a hood, tosses bundles of ballots for the party of the beloved President [into the ballot box]. That’s how they’re killing your future and your children’s future.”
More evidence that #TheFixIsIn in the 2021 Russian elections, this time from Novaya Gazeta via election observers from A Just Russia party: “The head of the Central Elections Commission, Ella Pamfilova, said that the three-day voting is necessary so that voters can observe social distancing. These are photos of Polling Station No. 343, in Petersburg’s Vyborg district, in the middle of a working day.”
Ballot box stuffing in Petersburg, captured on video by Irina Fatyanova and published by the indispensable Mediazona: “This video from Petersburg shows a man in a medical mask and a cap coming out of a curtained booth and having a hard time shoving a pack of ballots into the ballot box.”
The powers that be in Petersburg (i.e., Putin’s United Russia party) have decided to confuse voters by running two candidates named “Boris Vishnevsky” against the popular liberal city councilman Boris Vishnevsky, pictured on the far right, who is running for re-election on September 19. The two fake candidates (who were known as Alexei Shemlyov and Viktor Bykov before the current campaign and, presumably, will resume their real identities after it) have now also grown beards and mustaches to further muddle Petersburg voters, who will have this poster to look at in their polling stations when they vote in two weeks. As the real Boris Vishnevsky points out, above, it also appears that the photos of his doppelgangers have been retouched to heighten their resemblance to him. ||| TRR