I found this quote from the Guardian story beautifully ironic:
The Bush administration has called on Russia to investigate claims the vote was manipulated.
I was watching the Blair Years documentary last night, in which Tony Blair confessed that the more unpopular he became, and the more out of step with public opinion (in other words, us the people), the more confident he was that he was right. Of course it was Tony Blair who famously called Princess Diana 'the people's princess'. I get the feeling he has a grudging admiration for his old mate Putin, and envies the way he can just hang on to power. Would have loved to be 'the people's tsar' himself, I bet.
I got a real understanding of the old 'power corrupts' tag watching him.
An interesting footnote to the Russian election, Lugovoi, the man wanted by the British security services for the murder of Litvinenko, got elected. As a member of the Duma, he will be immune from prosecution, a mere technicality as the Russian authorities were never going to go after him anyway.