Is Mikhail Prokhorov's Campaign for Real? 

Lystseva Marina / ITAR / TASS / Corbis

Tall tales? Prokhorov at a campaign stop on Feb. 9

On Monday, Dec. 12, the lanky Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov called a press conference soporifically titled An Analysis of the Political Situation in the Country. It turned out that Prokhorov — at 46 the 32nd richest person in the world, according to Forbes — had already done the analysis and synthesized a solution. "I'm entering the presidential race," he announced.

The Russian election season is short: by the evening of March 4, the country will know the name of its new President. Except, of course, that the country knows his name already. It's Vladimir Putin. So...