The Banality of Disappointment

The afternoon before Russia’s presidential election, 24-year-old Roman Andreyev waited in line to be accredited as an official voting observer. He knew incumbent President Vladimir Putin would likely come away with a landslide victory, but still planned to spend the evening reading up on how to spot electoral violations and testing himself on an app. “If you do nothing yourself,” he said, queuing up at an opposition leader’s headquarters, “then you can’t demand anything.”

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