ISSUE 2-2006
Ондржей Соукуп Валентина Люля
Владимир Воронов Emil Souleimanov
Jakub Kulhanek
Отар Довженко
Pavel Vitek
Vaclav Pravda

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles and/or discussions are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views or positions of the publisher.


For a variety of reasons, the world's attention has recently been constantly focused on the US election, which ended, as long predicted, by Donald Trump refusing to concede defeat and making instead a fuss that casts needless shadows upon American democracy. Fortunately, American democracy is so strong enough to cope with the situation, although the scars may remain for a long time because Trump, like several of his mutations in Europe, has managed to divide the nation.

America's troubles could not fail to arouse malicious pleasure among many politicians in Russia who could not resist making sarcastic comments about the situation, pointing out that such is the state of affairs in a country that prides itself on its democracy.

It's hard to say whether it's a matter of the proverbial beam in the eye from the Gospel of St. Matthew, or an attempt to tell the domestic audience: you see, there are problems with elections everywhere, in our country, though, everything is transparent and crystal clear. Even far into the future, an impartial observer may be tempted to add.

Indeed, since Yeltsin's time, Putin's elections have turned into a referendum on the Russians' trust in their ruler. Putin's one and only competitor are numbers, and since they represent trust, they need to be considerably high. While they might have roughly reflected the real state of affairs during the first and second of his elections, later on, it has become obvious that it is not important how the election is conducted but how the votes are counted.

Ella Panfilova, the chair of the Central Election Commission, who was once a great hope for Russian democracy, had first adopted and later further creatively developed the latter principle. Her activities before and during the All-Russian vote on the draft Constitution of the Russian Federation, which had opened the door for Putin to become a lifelong ruler, showed that there was another very important factor: the outcome of the election also depends on who organizes the vote.

Her efforts, guided as they are by the Kremlin, of course, often naively presented to the nation online, have led Russia onto a path that leads to escalating state violence and could later lead to a Russian insurgency, which certainly does not threaten the embattled US democracy so ridiculed by Kremlin.

Sarcasm is likewise aroused in an observer of Russian events, when he is informed by TASS, for example, that the prevailing situation during the US election was also discussed in a phone call made by Putin to Lukashenko. What could these two birds from the same autocratic nest be saying to each other? Perhaps they were surprised that a superman like Trump was unable to arrange such a trifle as a victory in an election. And they commiserated each other sighing, 'What's the world coming to?'

Maybe they exchanged ideas regarding their own experience with fixing elections in their countries. What has the last election brought? As for Batka, it must have caused him quite a bit of a headache because the nicely drawn numbers have provoked unprecedented protests which this issue of our magazine analyses in a broader context.

There's been a cute joke circulating on the Internet about the US election: Russian observers are going to Georgia to re-count the votes equipped with pre-printed ballots. It directly introduces the question of who the Kremlin would like to see as the new American president. Trump, of course, whose arrival at the White House four years ago was celebrated with champagne. However, this time it was followed by a nasty hangover, i.e. Biden, who has already described Russia as one of the greatest threats. We're going to try to address this topic in the next issue, too.

We wish our readers a lot of strength in overcoming the pandemic and plenty of interesting material to read.

Your editorial staff





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