December 30, 2013

Why Is Putin Pardoning People?

Ankit Panda, The Diplomat

The Associated Press

Allowing Navalny his freedom and the ability to (unsuccessfully) contest Moscow’s mayoral election nominally showed Putin to be tolerant of democratic competition in a formal electoral setting (let’s leave the question of fairness aside for now). Similarly, the more recent amnesty decisions could allow Putin to gain a modicum of democratic legitimacy by claiming to allow his opponents to roam free, instead of imprisoning them. The latter is far too easy for Western observers to criticize, after all.

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TAGGED: Alexei Navalny, Sochi Olympics, Ukraine, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Pussy Riot, Vladimir Putin, Russia

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