The article 'Russia takes another step away from democracy' was published in the 12 June issue of Eurasia Daily Monitor produced by Jamestown Foundation, Washington DC.
The sycophants inhabiting Putin's hermetically closed court have no interest in any feedback from society, their only concern is about how little of the enormous inflow of "petro-rubles" should be distributed among the electorate to keep it reasonably content and passive. Last Friday, June 9, the Russian State Duma approved legislation that would eliminate the voting option "against all" in the ballots provided for elections at all levels, from local to presidential. According to Boris Gryzlov, the chairman of the Duma, this step is aimed at "increasing the political responsibility of citizens." In reality, it indicates that political rights in Russia have been gradually reduced to a level not much different from the Soviet era (Newsru.com, June 9).