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Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Bill Steinman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

The Year Of Living Cleanly?

Russia is so mired in corruption that nothing else there seems to matter.

It ranks 143 on the corruption perceptions index, tied with Nigeria and Uganda, among others.

It’s not just business that’s corrupt. So are politics.

Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party allegedly stole the December parliamentary elections by stuffing a million or more votes into ballot boxes.

But something big is happening.

Hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of Russians are taking to the streets across Russia’s nine time zones, in the middle of winter, to protest against the sleaze.

Alexei Navalny, above, 35, a lawyer and leading anti-corruption blogger, has emerged as the leader of the opposition. He’s capable and charismatic. Think JFK — young, smart, careful, courageous, handsome, witty, articulate, optimistic, and modern.

The presidential elections are in March. Until a few weeks ago, most people assumed Putin would win again. He stepped down as president four years ago because of term limits and became prime minister.

Navalny labeled United Russia as the “party of swindlers and thieves,” and the name stuck.

This week he told a Moscow radio station: “I’m ready to fight for leadership positions, including the post of president.”

Even former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, who hasn’t said much for the past twenty years, followed Navalny’s lead, telling Putin to resign and hold new parliamentary elections.

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