Are we heading towards a Russian revolution?

What's happening in Russia these days? On the heels of a controversial election, has Vladimir Putin reached his best-before date? Or is that just the chatter from the disgruntled and the West? We look into the state of Mother Russia.

Today's Friday host was David Michael Lamb.

Part One of The Current


It's Friday, December 16th.

The UN Secretary General calls 2011 a turning point in history - in large part because of the Arab Spring.

Currently, tell that to Syria.

This is The Current.

Are we heading towards a Russian revolution?

We started this segment with the sound of sound of Russian protesters in Moscow on the weekend, demanding a "Russia without Putin!"

We heard from more protesters - this time calling Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his government thieves and swindlers. Not since the fall of the Soviet Union 20 years ago have so many people choked the streets of the capital.
The crowds were furious with the results of the December 4th election that returned Putin 's United Russia party to power. Critics say ballots were stuffed and voters intimidated.

In a televised call-in show yesterday, Putin insisted the results are valid ... and rejected calls for a new election. But he did propose installing web cameras at polling stations to ensure transparency during the upcoming March presidential elections in which he will run.

But that appeared to do little to calm his critics. Another major protest is planned on Christmas Eve. After the events of the Arab spring, it may be tempting to think Russia is in the early days of upheaval.

But not everyone believes revolution is in the air. Dmitry Babich is a Russian journalist and political analyst with Russian Information News and he was in Moscow.

Are we heading towards a Russian revolution?

Masha Gessen might have a slightly different take on all this. She is a Russian-American journalist and author. Her biography of Vladimir Putin, The Man Without a Face, will be published next year. She was in Moscow.

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