UnNews:Russia makes prison time a prerequisite for voting
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|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|
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18 August 2013
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia -- The Russian Duma has enacted a law barring anyone who has not been in prison for at least five years from voting in national elections. The bill received one vote in favor — that of its sponsor — and no votes against.
The sponsor remained anonymous and flied to the USA, whilst the Duma did everything to hide his identity from public. "He is on vacation [again] and we don't want the journalists to spoil it for him. So we are not going to say anything."
Since the law's passage, the Government representatives became very active, stole all the money they could from schools and hospitals and did not even hide it, ran a lot more pointless projects (such as the Universiade and the Olympics in Sochi) than all the previous governments in Russia did, and bought extremely expensive homes for all their relatives. Unfortunately for them, they were not imprisoned.
But some people were luckier. One of them is Alexey Navalny, who was sentenced to prison for five years after forcing big companies to transfer vast forest land to himself. A majority of Russians  do not believe the verdict, however, but believe that Navalny falsified all the evidence against himself, simply to win a conviction — and thus the right to vote for himself in the next elections.
Our team of journalists had a brilliant interview with several most notable Russian politicans. The first one was Vladimir Putin, the President. To get to him, we had to wait for several months, as he has been extremely busy lately. 
Journalist: Vladimir Vladimirovitch, what do you think about the new law?
V.P.: Which one do you mean? There were thousands of them made during the past few weeks.
J.: The one about not allowing people who have not been in prison...
V.P. (interrupts): That one? Well, who told you that it was actually introduced? It is probably the Opposition's agitprop. Yes, there have been some talks about introducing something that will increase the amount of taxes, but not that it harmed the wealth of the main citizens... You know, Russian business has always been different from any other countries' business. Now, taking in account the results over the past decade, we may easily agree with the Opposition. Do you have any other questions?
The interview with another Russian president who has been switching with Putin for some time now was considerably different:
J.: Dmitri Anatolyevich, what do you think about the rule that will hampers anyone who has not been...
Dmitri Medveded (interrupts): Sorry, I have not heard of it. You know, the legislative branch of our Government is not at all connected with the executive one (of which Putin and me are the main representatives). The members of those branches have received different forms of education and their tasks never intersect.
J.: But don't you accept the laws that they make?
D.M.: We do, but the structure of the Russian democracy is a way more complicated than the the European one.
After leaving the Kremlin, a man who did not look like a politician but certainly was one (as others have told us later) and who decided to stay anonymous said: "What are you doing with your notebooks here? Spying for America?"
We told this man that we were an international organization that tried to find out what was happening in different parts the world.
Anonymous Politician: I know perfectly well how America controls every single international organization that exists! This is why Russia will never collaborate with other countries! The sent us a bomb, which everyone else thought was a meteorite, but we are stronger and more intelligent than they think we are! We won over them, the only thing that is left to us is to cross the ocean and to conquer their land! Then they will never ever dare to challenge Russia!
J.: And what do you think about the new law that does not allow to participate in the elections unless you have been in prison?
A.P.: We will never let the Opposition take over our motherland! We are real patriots! We will put in jail every single person who challenges our standards! And I bet you, every single one of them will seat in prison for his whole life, not just five years! There will only be one President in Russia!
J.: But taking this law in account, Vladimir Putin has no right to be reelected, has he?
Having strange emotions after this dialogue, we once again went to Medvedev, who as we thought, would clarify everything for us. This is what he said: "Haven't I told you about different branches of the Government? This man does not know what he is talking about, as he just introduced the law and only we [probably Putin and Medvedev] will foresee all the consequences."
Our team thanked Medvedev for this explanation and left him as well as Russia. Strangely enough, none of the journalists wanted to write a report of the interviews we had and it took a week to convince them that it was essential for the world to know what exactly the new Russian law meant.