Vladimir Putin | St. Louis Public Radio

Vladimir Putin

Eric Fey, St. Louis County Board of Elections director, demonstrates how to select an audio ballot versus the large-print option on the iVotronic system.
file photo | Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio.

The Democratic Director of Elections for St. Louis County, Eric Fey, is traveling to Russia this week as part of an intergovernmental group that will observe the presidential election March 18.

Fey is one of 420 short-term observers with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The OSCE, a group with 57 member nations, has observed elections since the early 1990s to help ensure free and fair elections.

Over the last decade, Fey has served as an observer in Ukraine, Belarus, Macedonia, Canada, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. He said having an international organization observe the electoral process keeps governments accountable.

File photo

For U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, more sanctions against Russia aren’t enough to demonstrate the United States’ fury over Thursday’s crash of the Malaysian airliner in Ukraine.

The plane is believed to have been hit by a Russian-made missile fired by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.

Durbin and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., both believe that the bulk of the blame lies with “Putin’s effort to destabilize the Ukraine,’’ as Durbin put it.