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Pro/Con: Did Putin use Russia’s parliamentary election to establish himself as national leader for life?

Published 12/08/2007, Duluth News Tribune

There is a melancholy that pervades the Russian character that outsiders can see but cannot know. A brutal history played out against a harsh landscape has made the Russians fatalistic and inclined to believe things will get worse rather than better. Oh well, they sigh, there is always music, poetry and vodka. Always vodka.

Word count: 1228

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