News of the Day: 8 January 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia confirmed 23,652 new coronavirus cases and 454 deaths.

Meduza: The principles of Russian politics changed beyond recognition last year. In-person voting held over multiple days (first introduced as a temporary pandemic measure) was codified and made permanent, supposedly for voters’ convenience, guaranteeing victory for the authorities’ candidates (even in regions where protest sentiment is high). The State Duma hastily adopted a series of repressive laws that complicated election monitoring, campaigning, and peaceful forms of protest. The authorities tried to remove society from political participation and distance the public from any decision-making, as the country prepares for new parliamentary elections in 2021. At first glance, these efforts have been a success, so far.

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