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Text of report by Russian Grani.ru website on 5 March
Article by Nikolay Petrov, under the rubric "Lead Article: Columns": "So Tell Us, Putin, It Was Not in Vain, Was It?"
[Title of article is play on first line of Lermontov poem "Borodino"]
So what is probably the last election of the Putin political era is over. It was marked by his return to the Kremlin, but alas far from
such a triumphant one as it seemed to him back last September. And in fact a cloudless existence is by no means predicted for the Kremlin itself even for the near future.
What was each of the candidates fighting for and against whom? Putin himself, who selected rivals convenient for him, was fighting not so much them as his own negative image in the eyes of a significant part of the Russian electorate. He conducted his extremely vigorous and overall successful campaign for the most part in the post of premier, with only three formal vacation days during that entire time.
All the other candidates behaved …