Written by Leonid Gozman, President Union of Right Forces. The results of the election came as no surprise to anyone in Russia. No one doubted that Putin’s main party, United Russia, would not simply win, but maintain its constitutional majority. This result, as well as the cynical falsifications, the banning of any independent candidates from the electoral process, and similar actions, is nothing new. It has long been clear to opposition-minded citizens – and their number is growing – that the exercise we have been calling “elections,” compared to what happens in other countries, has nothing to do with elections. It is beneficial that increasingly more people in the West understand this. However, the way the elections were held and how they concluded allow us to draw some important conclusions about Russia’s future.