Will the March 4 Russian election result be manipulated?

It is a simple question but the answer is quite complex. Will the March 4th Russian presidential election result be manipulated?

Writing in the Moscow Times newspaper, Konstantin Sonin says that “there is a real possibility that Putin will receive less than 50 percent without falsification.”

Sonin’s analysis of the possible outcomes of the vote are worth reading for any Russian observer. He goes on to write that if voters suspect widespread election fraud, “the protests might be so large that the authorities would be forced to hold new elections. That might sound implausible at first, but large-scale electoral fraud in favor of the incumbent leader followed by massive peaceful protests that resulted in new elections has played out in dozens of countries over the past quarter century.”

Konstantin Sonin is a professor at the New Economic School in Moscow and a columnist for Vedomosti.

Read the entire column here.