Vladimir Putin wants to be the president of Russia again, which requires annoying things like campaigning. He’s not going to jump through all the hoops, mind you, opting, for instance, to skip debating because he says he’s busy being prime minister. (One of Putin’s opponents, meanwhile, praised our own Republican primary, where “millionaires and former senators — they all face off in duels.”) But Putin will go through some of the motions, like having a campaign website, despite having written off the Internet as “50 percent pornographic material.” The site even comes complete with an online suggestion box:
Andrei Antonenko suggested, “Please leave politics; it is obvious that power is a narcotic, but it is the right thing to do.” Arkady Vishnev said “the most useful thing you could do for the country now” would be to withdraw from the race. Svetlana Sorokina suggested he step down so that, as she put it, “you do not turn the situation into a revolution.”
One Russian blogger then noticed that many more negative comments were being submitted, but not published. Instead, the pissy ones were drowned in a sea of positivity, “touching on issues like pet care and agriculture. Many of them just wished him luck.” You’d almost think something fishy was going on.