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In 1984, just before Mikhail Gorbachev's ascent to power, there was a sense in Moscow that the Soviet Union was petrified, and nothing could change.Far from embracing change, Putin will seek a fourth term in next year's presidential election – a race he will surely win, given the Kremlin's control over the media and the courts. But, to render his victory credible, Putin needs Russia's dispirited population to show up to vote. It seems that the Kremlin may be considering just that, as it has allowed Navalny to hold large campaign meetings with up to 10,000 people in 100 cities.Last March, for example, Navalny produced a 50-minute documentary on corruption, revealing that Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev had used $1.3 billion in bribes to purchase six palaces and two vineyards.Now, Putin will need to consider who should succeed Medvedev. Putin may be guaranteed another presidential term, but a regime that cannot satisfy even its rulers is hardly sustainable.
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