For centuries, the bear has been Russia’s totem animal.

It is also a mascot of United Russia, the governing party in the State Duma, the 450-seat lower house of parliament, that obediently and unanimously stands behind everything President Vladimir Putin says and does.

United Russia currently has a supermajority with 334 seats, which means a very prompt adoption and approval of any bill, budget and political step Putin wants.

But independent observers, international monitors and Western governments do not believe the majority was the result of fair election victories – and consider most parliamentary votes under Putin’s rule to be rigged.

Just like a bear, United Russia, which largely consists of officials and businessmen, is far from gracious.

In fact, it is so unpopular and politically

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