It’s no surprise that Medvedev won the Russian “election”.
“Dmitry Medvedev, the next face of Russian power and rebirth, is by no means a carbon copy of his mentor, Vladimir Putin. As he strides into a conference room here in one of Russia’s industrial hubs, his boyish looks and rounded shoulders contrast starkly with the icy persona and judo athlete’s physique of the country’s current president. But Putin’s Russia will stay Putin’s Russia for the foreseeable future, most observers believe, so Medvedev strains to look and sound like his longtime overseer.
At a meeting of Russian sports officials and educators in Kazan, he firmly castigates a deputy minister with sharp words and a steely gaze, much as Putin would. Later at a campaign rally thinly disguised as a celebration of youth and sports, Medvedev strides to the stage wearing a black turtleneck underneath a sports jacket, a trademark combination of Putin’s. Russians want Putin to stay on as their czar. But he cannot constitutionally serve a third consecutive term, so someone who emulates Putin-and exalts him-will have to do.
[..] The election won’t be an exercise in democracy, most observers say; liberal opponents such as former chess champion Garry Kasparov and former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov were forced out of the race. Medvedev’s three remaining opponents have been virtually ignored by state-owned national television networks.”
(via The Chicago Tribune)