Talk about parallels. To Russians, the adultery-related resignation of Central Intelligence Director David Petraeus looks uncannily like a scandal that recently hit their own defense minister, Igor Serdyukov.
The protest movement, born from outrage over apparently manipulated parliamentary elections earlier this month, has gained both momentum and magnitude across Russia. The ruling tandem is taking note and, without admitting it, making concessions.
Thanks to a London court, influence-peddling in Russia has now become an internationally recognized business arrangement. The consequences could be far-reaching, both for Russian billionaires and for corrupt officials in the government of President Vladimir Putin.
Russia's leaders have unveiled a new government that is notable in the absence of one prominent figure: Igor Sechin, the dark lord responsible for dismantling the oil empire of oligarch-turned-prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Anyone with an Internet connection can easily see why throngs of protestors have been clashing with riot police in the wake of Russia's Dec. 4 parliamentary vote. Check out the map, posted by independent monitor Golos, showing the number of election violations in cities and towns throughout Russia. Or search Youtube for "vote rigging 2011" (фальсификация выборов 2011) and take your pick from clips displaying everything from pre-stuffed ballot boxes to election officials furtively filling in votes.