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The public assassination of one of Moscow's leading critics, just feet from the walls of the Kremlin, is a blow to the liberal opposition but, paradoxically, also shows that there are still remnants of political pluralism.The killing of one of Moscow's leading critics is a blow to the liberals but, paradoxically, also shows that politics are still being contested behind the facade of mass consensus for the regime.

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According to a survey that a Bloomberg contributor called "the most representative independent poll taken on the peninsula since its annexation," 82 percent of Crimeans fully support their region's inclusion in Russia rather than Ukraine, while only 4 percent spoke out against it.

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