Ella pamfilova

Ella Pamfilova and the dismantling of Russia’s democracy

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is hardly known for its free and fair elections. But a purge of the field ahead of this September’s parliamentary vote has led to protests even from politicians who benefit from his system. And it has brought the woman on whom the whole democratic façade relies close to a breakdown. Ella Pamfilova, the head of Russia’s Central Election Commission, had just wrapped up a meeting in which her officials disbarred the popular Communist party candidate Pavel Grudinin when she was approached by Nikolai Bondarenko, Grudinin’s ally and a popular YouTuber. ‘This is a disgrace to the whole country. You’re trampling democracy,’ he told Pamfilova in a video he