President Vladimir Putin is fixing the Russian electoral system so that his
party cannot fail to win.  But, as Neil Buckley observes in Saturday's FT,
"even the Kremlin's staunchest critics do not believe poll-rigging is
needed to ensure victory for the pro-Putin party."  So why is Putin so
afraid of chess champion Gary Kasparov and other marginal
players?  Because, in their heart of hearts, they fear that they will be
caught at their tricks and turned back at the polls.  This should not be
mistaken for the voice of conscience.