Chatham House
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Russians who oppose Putin can do little but change the atmosphere of the presidential election


Some will participate to win prizes, or because they must. Others will boycott. The outcome is certain, but the suggestion to show up, supported by Navalny, may be the last best hope for protest.

Elections in modern Russia have long been a symbolic performance designed to show the world the indestructible unity of the Russian population with the ruling power.

The outcome of this month’s presidential election is pre-ordained, leading to understandably scant enthusiasm among the electorate. 

To address that indifference, this election cycle will see the Kremlin use an innovative array of techniques to bolster participation rates among politically passive populations. 

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