Four More Years


Something strange was going on in Khabarovsk. Army conscripts, braving a fierce late-February blizzard, swept snow from the steps outside the Platinum Forum, a new sports complex in this city of 580,000 in Russia's far east — 6,500 km from Moscow, just 32 km from the Chinese border. Elsewhere, municipal workers were carefully trimming snow-covered trees on the city's main streets. And the TV weatherman warned of traffic jams, though not because of snow drifts. "You will be having a very high visitor," he predicted, but he wouldn't say who — and neither would the newspapers.

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