• Despite years of drama, little buzz for polls in Moscow


    MOSCOW: Just days before Russia holds a nationwide parliamentary vote on Sunday, there is little sign of any heated debate going on around the capital Moscow. The polls come after years of tumult that have seen the country annex the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine, lurch into its worst stand-off with the West since the Cold War, plunge into economic crisis and launch a military campaign in Syria. But these epoch-shaping dramas are barely mentioned in poll campaigning. Outside metro stations the occasional elderly woman or student looking to earn a bit of extra cash hands out leaflets for parties either praising or bashing President Vladimir Putin. On state TV, debates between candidates are a regular feature, but beyond the odd heated clash between opposition figures and fierce Kremlin supporters, they more often see wannabe deputies simply parrot their manifestoes.



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