Elections in Russia are talking place and already the Western corporate media is doing exactly what it did with the recent elections in Iran: ‘reporting’ about fraud ‘allegations’.  And again, these reports are clearly prima facie idiocy.  Here is why:
Fist, just as Iran, Russia is a very large country and, at this moment in time, not ever the Russian government has any meaningful results or any kind of measure of what kind of statistically relevant irregularities might have taken place.  Remember Mousavi screaming about fraud before any results were counted?  The BBC is doing the same with these elections.
Second, and just with Iran’s Ahmadinejad, there is overwhelming and converging evidence that Putin is immensely popular and that the ruling party has absolutely no need to engage in any fraud.  Could local Party zealots in Iran or Russia think that they might “help” their party by engaging in fraud?  Sure, but is that statistically relevant to the outcome?  Of course not.  I would even argue that, just as Ahmadinejad then, Putin needs as clear an election as possible.
The Western corporate media understands that very well, by the way.  Or, rather – I should rephrase that – the bosses of the Western corporate media understand that very well.  The CIA/MI6/BND/Mossad/etc all knew that ‘they’ would ‘loose’ the elections in Iran and that ‘they’ will ‘loose’ the elections in Russia today.  That is precisely why they picked the only possible strategy – claim that the elections were rigged.
The big difference between Russia and Iran is, of course, not that there is no “Russian Mousavi”.  There could be many candidates for such a role in Russia too (Grigory Yavlinsky, Garry Kasparov, Boris Nemtsov, etc.).  What Russia does not have is a “Russian Rafsanjani”.  First, because “Russian Rafsanjanis” have already ruled Russia between 1991 and 2000 and, second, because all the potential “Russian Rafsanjani” are now either abroad (Berezovsky & Co.), or in jail (Khodorkovsky & Co.).  In that sense, and in that sense only, the elections in Iran were more ‘democratic’ as the supporters of Mousavi had a real opportunity not only to change the government, but to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran.  That is not an option that pro-Western forces have in Russia today.  Heck – pro-Western forces could not even make it into the last Russia Duma.  We will see if they do better this time (they probably will: Medvedev lowered the minimal percentage to get in, iirc).
Anyway – what we are seeing from the West now, as we saw then, is a huge reaction of spite and impotent frustration: for all their efforts have lead to nothing.  That is why the Western corporate media is hammering the ‘fraud’ theme.  I mean, really, do you actually expect them to admit ‘defeat’?
I sure don’t.
The Saker

UPDATE1: Interesting, now the BBC is not changing, but adjusting, its tune – it says that according to many exit polls the “United Russia” party of Putin is suffering losses.  Nevermind that the kind of rating this “loosing” Party would be considered as a stunning victory by any Western politician, in particular after 11 years in power.   The BBC is still hammering the “fraud” line, so I suspect that the losses to the “United Russia” are not quite what the BBC’s bosses were hoping for.  But even if they turn out bigger than expected, don’t expect the BBC to change its tune and speak about a “triumph for democracy”.  Basically, and no matter what, these elections will be used to further escalate the anti-Russian campaign of the Brits (and, their masters, of course).

UPDATE2: First preliminary results are in:

United Russia: 47,34%
Communists: 20,25%
Just Russia: 13.36%
LDPR (Zhirinovsky): 13,34%

other 3 parties all under 5%

No biggie here:  United Russia did loose some but has still twice the votes of the next party, the Communists, which I think are doing very well (to my dismay).  Just Russia has achieved a good score, in particular for a moderately pro-Western party, while the LDPR will be disappointed and the pro-Western parties are still in limbo.

UPDATE3: at (22:27 Eastern Time, with 92,18% of votes counted)

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