RUSSIA VOTES: Divided Democrats Face Uncertain Prospects

IN SPITE OF THE THREAT OF A RUSSIAN STATE Duma controlled by an alliance of communist and nationalist parties, the democratic parties seem unable to work together to defeat their common enemy. The parties clearly recognize the danger of not clearing the 5 percent barrier necessary to enter parliament – and the danger that a large number of pro-democratic votes could be wasted. Despite that risk, the democrats have not created any workable coalitions to head off electoral disaster.