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Russian opposition let Putin win again
[Image: navsob4b40ef563af875f6.jpg]

Despite promises to make a decent stand against the ruling regime and call into question the legitimacy of Putin's re-election for a further term, Russian opposition has demonstrated fragmentary action and lack of competence in its political struggle during the presidential elections on March 18. Representatives of the pro-democracy camp were not successful in mobilizing their efforts against the sitting President, and their statements often contradicted each other, thus even further confusing own voters. In ballots there were only such pro-Western politicians as the 65-years-old liberal economic expert Grigory Yavlinsky with 1.04% of votes and the first-time candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who ranked the fourth in the elections with 1.67% of the vote.

Alexei Navalny, who is the most popular Russian oppositionist, was left out of the elections. For legal reasons, he could not stand in the elections but, for some reason, did not mobilize his electorate to support other candidates. During the election campaign, Navalny's team opened offices throughout Russia, organizing protest activities and promising to reduce dramatically voter turnout through calls not to participate in the elections. But in the end, closer to the elections the number of people involved in street protests was steadily decreasing. And it is not possible to assess the effectiveness of such ballot strike because the final voter turnout of 67% has been very high for Russia. It is also worth noting that some of opposition figures have made active preparations for street conflicts with authority. In Novosibirsk and Biysk, Navalny's supporters planned to take control over government agencies. They worked out detailed plans and instructions for their activists.

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However, at the time of writing the article, there were no news about mass protests in the streets of Russian cities.

Thus, the most effective methods of fight against power were not implemented by Russian oppositionists. The steps that were brought into action, such as the staging of frame-ups, had not a wide public resonance. And as a result, following 6 years of preparations for the elections, leaders of Russian opposition could not plot effective strategy, find the key to Russian voters or set aside their internal differences. Despite all the necessary diplomatic support for Sobchak and Navalny from Brussels and Washington, as well as, the unprecedented civilized world pressures on the Kremlin, Russian opposition not only failed to move forward but also lost a lot of its popularity together with a considerable number of its supporters.

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33,000 oppositional observers from Navalny's team did not detect any cases of serious elections abuse, thus only confirming the high level of support to Putin with his 77% of votes, as well as, legitimacy of his re-election. And it is time to talk about the fact that the failure of Russian democratic forces in the elections cannot be attributed to imperfection of election system or advantages of power's administrative resources. Overestimation of own resources, protest 'virtualization', their isolation from the needs of society and lack of error analysis and error corrections: all these problems have turned into chronic diseases of Russian parliamentary and non-systemic opposition.

The recent presidential elections proved the inability of Russian pro-Western politicians to mobilize the existing potential of their oppositional forces and to properly use their vast financial and modern technical recourses. Moreover, with their promises, incorrect predictions and uncoordinated actions the oppositional leaders in recent years misled the international community which had been expecting to achieve an early political reset in Russia with a change of its aggressive foreign policy.
Putin is still a strong personality, and no matter how much the opposition is trying, they can not do anything to him

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