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Posts Tagged ‘Ekaterina Gracheva’

High price of transparency: $300 million webcam experiment to ensure fair Russian vote

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 4, 2012

A massive 200,000 webcam network and half-a million observers are contributing to what is being billed as Russia’s most transparent election yet.

The observant army is a response to angry protesters who chanted ‘we don’t forget and we don’t forgive’ after December’s parliamentary vote. They believe the election was rigged.

In response, the authorities decided webcams at all 98,000 polling-stations would solve the problem. Russian tax payers have forked out over US$300 million for the online monitoring system, doubling the initial cost of the vote. The election is now officially the most transparent – and the most expensive – in the nation’s history, but not everyone is convinced.

Webcams: 2012 election highlight

Some believe installing cameras was an excessive measure, saying past elections were fair enough.

“Cameras won’t change anything, there will always be discontent. It was honest before even without cameras,”believes one Russian voter. And another argues that this will hardly make the vote more transparent, as it was “only made to please the opposition.” Others are of the opinion that the cameras are meaningless given the vast number of polling stations, and installing cameras at all of them will just make things more complicated.

Indeed, one of the main concerns about the CCTV system is whether it can serve a country as expansive as Russia. Hacker attacks on the website which will broadcast their footage shortly before the polls opened only added to these concerns.

Vladimir Kremlev for RT
Vladimir Kremlev for RT Read the rest of this entry »

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Resolution resistance: West rejects Russia’s Syria draft

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 17, 2012

Western diplomats pushing for tough action against Damascus have criticized Russia’s new draft UN resolution for being too conciliatory. But while experts argue over drafts and texts, innocent Syrians are living in constant fear for their lives.

After weeks of criticism over the slow pace of talks, Russia has submitted a new draft UN resolution designed to bring peace to Syria, which calls on all sides to halt the violence.

However the draft has come in for harsh criticism from council members, who say it does not condemn President Assad’s crackdown on protesters strongly enough. They say it also does not make clear whether Moscow would accept tough sanctions which the West believes will solve the conflict and save innocent civilians.

The new text enlarges on an existing Russian resolution, which has been supplemented with a list of amendments proposed by the European nations and the United States.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it does not support any foreign military deployment in Syria, as this would not bring any positive results. Moscow says that the conflict should be solved by Syrians themselves without any outside force. Russia, which holds both Syrian authorities and the opposition responsible, is calling for both sides to negotiate and find a peaceful solution to the crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia, China Veto Syria Sanctions

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 5, 2011

Veto sometimes good and sometimes not
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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