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Russian Political Strategist Claims To Have Rigged Duma Elections In Vice Interview

When Vladimir Putin's United Russia party won last Sunday's parliamentary elections (although not too emphatically, as it turned out), few people were surprised.

But that doesn't necessarily mean they believed the result was correct.

Thousands demonstrated against the results on Monday, and further protests have continued throughout the week. More are planned for the weekend.

International criticism of the elections is also mounting. Hillary Clinton has been among those foreign leaders who have cast severe doubt on United Russia's victory, as has Mikhail Gorbachev.

Millions more have seen the evidence on YouTube of what appears to be widespread fraud throughout Russia's voting system.

The implication is that somebody cheated. And Vice.com thinks it might know who.

In an interview with a 'political strategist' for United Rusia speaking under condition of anonymity, Vice claims to have gained what appears to be a unique insight into the mechanics of Russia's endemic electoral fraud.

Admittedly readily to fixing elections ("we cheated as much as possible"), the strategist describes the "carousel" method of cheating by which voters are paid to drop pre-marked ballots in the voting box.

He also describes the "streamlet" method, by which people bring pre-filled bags of votes into election booths and dump them into the ballot box.

"I had to pick up all of these ballots – for this I used hundreds of students, homeless guys and other people – and then I asked the local voting precinct chiefs to help me use the absentee ballots," he says. "But this method is not perfect. First of all, it is kind of risky. Secondly, nobody can guarantee these fucking people will do what they were told to do."

According to the interviewee, the most serious fraud goes on after the votes are cast when vote counters move ballots between the different par ties almost at will. And for all the outcry on social media, it sounds like nothing currently in place can stop them.

"The endless number of hysterical hipsters throughout social media kind of “legitimised” my election fraud," he said. "I was checking the TV and websites and I realised that there is total lawlessness in the whole country. I realised nothing could stop me from stealing votes."