The Null Device
Putinsts seize Russian parliament, LiveJournal
Vladimir Putin's United Russia party wins 64% of votes in Russian election
. The big surprise is that, with all the stops they allegedly pulled out (putting pressure on state employees and students to vote for them, offering prizes for voting, and so on), they only managed 64% of the vote. Not that they'll be too disappointed; the two runners-up are the Communist Party and the absurdly misnamed Liberal Democratic Party (i.e., the party of ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky), which ran the alleged London plutonium assassin as one of its candidates. Under new electoral rules, these are the only parties who will get into the parliament; pro-Western and pro-democracy parties will be conspicuous by their absence.
Meanwhile, blogging/journal/social-network service LiveJournal (which the older readers may remember as the stereotypical bastion of melodramatic, self-obsessed emo kids who wrote bad poetry before MySpace came along) has been sold to Russian internet company SUP, which is owned by a Putin loyalist. The official LiveJournal announcement is vague about future plans, but SUP has, ominously, already announced the creation of a Russian-based "abuse team". (It is not clear whether they will handle English-language posts.)
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