Managed Democracy

Sergey Kuznetsov / RIA Novosti

Surveying the polls in Moscow's election central.

On Oct. 14, the holiday service at the main cathedral in the Russian region of Novgorod was interrupted by the region's governor, Sergei Mitin, who elbowed through the congregation and walked straight up to the altar. "Doesn't he know that's a sin?" hissed Nina Mikhailova, a parishioner. In Orthodox custom, laymen are not allowed at the altar. But Father Igor didn't seem to mind. He made the sign of the cross over the governor and kissed him on both cheeks. Apart from marking the Virgin Mary's appearance in Constantinople in the year 910, Oct. 14 was election day in...

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