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3 hours ago, Malcador said:

Looks like an actual coup - https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55882489

What  a surprise but I suppose its not like Myanmar wasnt always really controlled by  a military junta 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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8 hours ago, BruceVC said:

How would you know the majority of Russians support Putin when they dont have transparent elections ....like ever?

As recently as 2018, OSCE found no irregularities in Russian elections -- only complaining that state media favored Putin excessively (which is of course of concern) and opining that the election framework wasn't conducive to "genuine" opposition.

Much as Western media and urban elites would like to paint Navalny as a champion of the people loved by all, and Putin as a hated and corrupt tyrant, it seems that Russians largely ain't buying that. In reality, it's likely that Russians are more or less content to have Putin because the alternatives are laughable dilettantes, Western stooges, or commie fossils. Riling up Western hypocrites is just a bonus.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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2 hours ago, 213374U said:

As recently as 2018, OSCE found no irregularities in Russian elections -- only complaining that state media favored Putin excessively (which is of course of concern) and opining that the election framework wasn't conducive to "genuine" opposition.

Much as Western media and urban elites would like to paint Navalny as a champion of the people loved by all, and Putin as a hated and corrupt tyrant, it seems that Russians largely ain't buying that. In reality, it's likely that Russians are more or less content to have Putin because the alternatives are laughable dilettantes, Western stooges, or commie fossils. Riling up Western hypocrites is just a bonus.

You make some good points and I dont dispute Putin has his supporters but do his supporters have the mandate to allow Putin to  legitimately govern Russia as in the   " will of the people " like we see in most Democracies?

The Russian elections under Putin have almost never been free and fair, to quote from your interesting link 

After intense efforts to promote turnout, citizens voted in significant numbers, yet restrictions on the fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and expression, as well as on candidate registration, have limited the space for political engagement and resulted in a lack of genuine competition. While candidates could generally campaign freely, the extensive and uncritical coverage of the incumbent as president in most media resulted in an uneven playing field

That is not free and fair by any reasonable definition. If Putin really had the greatest support base than he would have no issue with a normal election and the best candidate would win. Like we witnessed in the USA, Trump and Biden put  everything into the election and their supporters turned out in unprecedented numbers ...but Trump lost the popular vote and the electoral collogues 

Apart from Trumps appalling  and petulant failure to accept the results that is how you win an election..free and fair and the people decide 

You dont see that in the reality of the Russian election environment because you not providing the same resources to opposition parties , like equal TV coverage, so the entire legitimacy of Putin elections should be questioned 

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Yes, rich tech moguls and Wall Street deciding who gets attention and exposure rather than the government is so much more equitable and fair. And a thoroughly corrupted, plutocratic bipartisan system where a third party candidate has literally never won in 200 years (which not even Teddy Roosevelt could overcome, and despite independent registered voters outnumbering Republicans) is very much the epitome of the concept of "letting the people decide".

I mean, you could have gone with any other country in contrast to Putin's Russia, but you had to choose the US.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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9 hours ago, 213374U said:

Yes, rich tech moguls and Wall Street deciding who gets attention and exposure rather than the government is so much more equitable and fair. And a thoroughly corrupted, plutocratic bipartisan system where a third party candidate has literally never won in 200 years (which not even Teddy Roosevelt could overcome, and despite independent registered voters outnumbering Republicans) is very much the epitome of the concept of "letting the people decide".

I mean, you could have gone with any other country in contrast to Putin's Russia, but you had to choose the US.

I thought we were discussing the principle and importance of a free and fair election?

The US election was free and fair and the candidate that won did so because of the number of votes they received. Candidates and opposition politician  also had the ability to campaign in the US without being arrested or poisoned 

I could have gone with many other examples of Democratic elections but why not use the  US as just one example of how you can implement transparent political change without trying to control the outcome and or narrative like we see in Russia

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Nah, we were discussing transparency, which is what I replied to. Then you made it about elections being "free and fair", which again, the OSCE report does not dispute, because they are not in the business of ultra‑summarizing to push an agenda. What they did is raise reasonable concerns about unequal media exposure and obstacles faced by prospective candidates, chief among them "fundamental freedoms" being restricted. This bit refers specifically to the right of assembly, which has been violated repeatedly by governments in Europe and the US (remember that pipeline?) for one reason or another.

No doubt OSCE would have preferred if Navalny had been allowed to be a candidate, but it's probably a good thing that he wasn't because he would have faceplanted pretty hard, what with his popularity being in the vicinity of 2%. A failed candidate is nowhere near as attractive as a martyr. Overall, the report falls short of being an indictment, because the fact is that Putin simply does not need to cheat in order to win. And Russians consistently voting "wrong" causes an absolutely fantastic amount of butthurt in the West. But I digress.

Then you went and brought up how, in contrast to Russia, the US elections are "free and fair" despite the Big Five's disproportionate coverage of big party candidates, and super PAC and "dark money" groups' (transparency schmarency) contributions completely destroying any illusion that politics in the US has become anything other than money exchanging hands. Apparently, the definition of free and fair is choosing between two bought and paid for candidates of the same establishment that... well, we've been down that road before.

Indeed, we've been at this before, terms will continue to be redefined to mean whatever you need them to mean depending on the circumstances and I'm not really in the mood for your particular brand of intellectual dishonesty. Goodbye.

 

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- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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39 minutes ago, 213374U said:

Nah, we were discussing transparency, which is what I replied to. Then you made it about elections being "free and fair", which again, the OSCE report does not dispute, because they are not in the business of ultra‑summarizing to push an agenda. What they did is raise reasonable concerns about unequal media exposure and obstacles faced by prospective candidates, chief among them "fundamental freedoms" being restricted. This bit refers specifically to the right of assembly, which has been violated repeatedly by governments in Europe and the US (remember that pipeline?) for one reason or another.

No doubt OSCE would have preferred if Navalny had been allowed to be a candidate, but it's probably a good thing that he wasn't because he would have faceplanted pretty hard, what with his popularity being in the vicinity of 2%. A failed candidate is nowhere near as attractive as a martyr. Overall, the report falls short of being an indictment, because the fact is that Putin simply does not need to cheat in order to win. And Russians consistently voting "wrong" causes an absolutely fantastic amount of butthurt in the West. But I digress.

Then you went and brought up how, in contrast to Russia, the US elections are "free and fair" despite the Big Five's disproportionate coverage of big party candidates, and super PAC and "dark money" groups' (transparency schmarency) contributions completely destroying any illusion that politics in the US has become anything other than money exchanging hands. Apparently, the definition of free and fair is choosing between two bought and paid for candidates of the same establishment that... well, we've been down that road before.

Indeed, we've been at this before, terms will continue to be redefined to mean whatever you need them to mean depending on the circumstances and I'm not really in the mood for your particular brand of intellectual dishonesty. Goodbye.

 

The difference between the US election  and the Russian election is the actual political environment and were candidates allowed to campaign without being intimidated or arrested . In Russia this is demonstrably not the case 

Yes of course in the USA, like all Democracies, their is influence from lobby groups and Super PAC but you dont get arrested and journalists dont  get killed by the US government because they support opposition parties 

The  original point of this debate was when Comrade suggested the majority of Russians support Putin, I pointed out that you cannot say this when their was  massive voting intimidation and their is a reality in Russia where the political landscape  is not free or fair 

You have decided to create your own definition of what constitutes " free and fair " and how that will impact the overall  transparency of the electoral process

Sorry but you dont get to do that outside of echo chambers like forum debates and your own circles that believe the Russian elections represent the will of the people ...how can they when not all the people get to vote or campaign in the same way ?

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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https://theins.ru/news/239080

reporter arrested by police and having a bag placed over her head were threatened with electroshock if she did not surrender her phone password.

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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US cops looking on in envy.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Vladimir the Poisoner’ A translation of Alexey Navalny’s speech in court on February 2

The main thing in this whole trial isn’t what happens to me. Locking me up isn’t difficult. What matters most is why this is happening. This is happening to intimidate large numbers of people. They’re imprisoning one person to frighten millions. 

We’ve got 20 million people living below the poverty line. We have tens of millions of people living without the slightest prospects for the future. Life is bearable in Moscow, but travel 100 kilometers in any direction and everything’s a mess. Our whole country is living in this mess, without the slightest prospects, earning 20,000 rubles [$265] a month. And they’re all silent; they try to shut people up with these show trials. Lock up this one to scare millions more. One person takes to the streets and they lock up another five people to scare 15 million more.

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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21 minutes ago, HoonDing said:

CIA poisoned Navany to make Putin look bad

Well, it does make the Rus clandestine look very incompetent, if they can't close the deal now with two poisonings pushed onto their list of deeds. 

I mean, why go such lengths, when there are much simpler ways of vanishing people on the territory Russia or even outside of it? 

You would also not get a 'martyr' figure for the proper narrative in the western media, had the disposals were effective. 

 

While I can't prove or disprove anything on this topic, the situation benefits a certain narrative. 

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1 hour ago, Darkpriest said:

Well, it does make the Rus clandestine look very incompetent, if they can't close the deal now with two poisonings pushed onto their list of deeds. 

I mean, why go such lengths, when there are much simpler ways of vanishing people on the territory Russia or even outside of it? 

You would also not get a 'martyr' figure for the proper narrative in the western media, had the disposals were effective. 

 

While I can't prove or disprove anything on this topic, the situation benefits a certain narrative. 

It might not be the CIA, but something really *is* weird about both the poisoning in England and the one of Navalny. Why use something that is as Russian as vodka and normally deadlier than cyanide, yet in both high profile cases it failed and left a lead to Russia that had more lights lighting up the path, than a runway approach (by using a uniquely Russian substance behind that dates from the cold war era)? Of course it could be somebody in Kremlin, heck, I do believe the most likely culprit is botched intelligence operations behind it, but you sort of have to ask yourself, any former Soviet states (or countries with access to cold war era depots) holding a grudge against Russia and stand to benefit from playing Russia against the west? 🤔

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Novichok definitely isn't uniquely Russian, it was just made there first, much as VX isn't uniquely American or BX uniquely British. It's more difficult to make than most nerve agents (most of which are trivial to make if you can get the precursors, literally mix in a bucket simple in some cases, but more difficult to stabilise) but any decent state agency from a mid range or above country could make it, though the USSR is the only one known to have made it. That's a point Boris Johnson (then Foreign Secretary) got publicly corrected on by Porton Down when he claimed Novichok was intrinsically Russian.

The two questions are why they'd bother killing Navalny instead of, say, reinstating his suspended sentence on some pretext as they just did, and if they used Novichok why they'd let him go to Germany instead of keeping him in Russia. The latter in particular would require the monumental stupids to have afflicted someone, and if there's one thing Putin isn't it's monumentally stupid. There's nothing literally impossible about it though, which is better than some CW scenarios from the past few years.

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5 hours ago, HoonDing said:

CIA poisoned Navany to make Putin look bad

If it were CIA they'd have killed everyone on the plane.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Who will replace Putin? – POLITICO

Ok, looks like the tide is tilting against Putin a little bit, and whilst I don't see Navalny going anywhere near the presidency, I do hope they find someone who's not a Western Puppet but is willing to cooperate more with the West on global.  Respectable to the West, but Independent at the same time.

"America would be unrecognizable if it had ordered the separation of corporation and state like it orders separation of church and state."

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That article is a year old, and assumes a managed succession. A lot can change in a year, after all a few months ago Putin had Parkinson's and was going to resign in, uh, January 2021.

There isn't a candidate that would be good for Russia and acceptable to the west, because fundamentally what the west wants is someone who will put western interests first, and those interests often run counter to what is best for Russia. Easy to forget, but Putin himself started off as acceptable to the west and only became a problem later.

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2 hours ago, ComradeMaster said:

Who will replace Putin? – POLITICO

Ok, looks like the tide is tilting against Putin a little bit, and whilst I don't see Navalny going anywhere near the presidency, I do hope they find someone who's not a Western Puppet but is willing to cooperate more with the West on global.  Respectable to the West, but Independent at the same time.

Why do you assume the world outside of Putin would accept a Western puppet? We just want a  Russian leader who accepts the Democratic process and things like human rights within Russia

And of course it would be expected that Russia restores the sovereignty of Crimea to Ukraine

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Zoraptor said:

That article is a year old, and assumes a managed succession. A lot can change in a year, after all a few months ago Putin had Parkinson's and was going to resign in, uh, January 2021.

There isn't a candidate that would be good for Russia and acceptable to the west, because fundamentally what the west wants is someone who will put western interests first, and those interests often run counter to what is best for Russia. Easy to forget, but Putin himself started off as acceptable to the west and only became a problem later.

No Zora thats not true. You guys have a very strange view of what the West expects from a new Russian leadership...we all want the same thing.

The West would respect a new leader but it must be done Democratically....and the new leader must respect the Democratic principles 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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3 hours ago, BruceVC said:

The West would respect a new leader but it must be done Democratically....and the new leader must respect the Democratic principles 

Like recognizing that Crimea overwhelmingly voted to join Russia, right? :p

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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
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4 hours ago, BruceVC said:

No Zora thats not true. You guys have a very strange view of what the West expects from a new Russian leadership...we all want the same thing.

The West would respect a new leader but it must be done Democratically....and the new leader must respect the Democratic principles 

I sometimes wonder what world you live in Bruce... the same world that expect Russia to hand over a large chunk of of its citizen to what is now a foreign country because someone in other foreign countries says so? It's not exactly that those same foreign countries respect any democratic processes when the outcome is undesirable. Oh yes, the same foreign countries that were happy to carve up another country (Serbia) when it fit their geopolitical narrative? The hypocrisy is strong in those foreign countries.

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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