Last weekend, Russia held elections for the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. The official results showed the ruling United Russia party won with 49.8% of the vote.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov on the process: “The competitiveness, openness, and honesty of the elections were and are the most important thing for the president.”
That is false.
As with previous major elections in the country, this year’s Duma elections were marked by reports of irregularities. But this year, ruling authorities carried out an unprecedented crackdown against opposition parties and activists, and even threatened tech giants Google and Apple.