Putin’s Would-Be Successors Ranked Ahead of 2018 Elections

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 21, 2017) Ahead of presidential elections scheduled for March next year, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and opposition firebrand Alexei Navalny are among President Vladimir Putin’s potential successors, according to a new ranking produced by a Russian think-tank. Published by the independent Peterburgskaya Politika NGO on Monday, the list casts current […]

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Moscow’s Makeover Swaps Soviet Grit for Urban Sparkle; Smart city apps, historically accurate trees, a working subway. While Washington obsesses over sanctions and hacks, Russia is rebranding its capital as a model of urban planning.

Moscow Aerial View Satellite Image File Photo, adapted from image at jpl.nasa.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Valerie Stivers – August 10, 2017) [Text with photos bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-08-10/moscow-s-makeover-swaps-soviet-grit-for-urban-sparkle] Moscow felt medieval when I first arrived almost 20 years ago, in January 1998, seeking adventure. There were few billboards, advertisements, or shop windows filled with merchandise. The women working at my local producti, or small grocery store, wore shawls, had moles and wens, and weighed […]

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Muscovites Hesitant to Protest Housing Demolition Scheme, Poll Finds

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 24, 2017) Only one-third of Muscovites who voted against a controversial housing demolition program would participate in protests against the scheme, according to a poll published by independent pollster the Levada Center. The poll, conducted at the request of the RBC news outlet, revealed that 34 percent of those living in apartment blocks who […]

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Thousands Protest In Moscow Against Plan To Raze Soviet-Era Housing

Moscow Aerial View Satellite Image File Photo, adapted from image at jpl.nasa.gov

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – May 14, 2017 – ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc. Article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-moscow-protests-demolition-krushchev-era-housing/28487244.html) MOSCOW — Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Moscow to protest the proposed demolitions of Soviet-era housing blocks in the Russian capital. The May 14 protest, held on a wide central Moscow street named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, marked […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – February 21, 2017) Sergei Sobyanin updated the President on Moscow’s socioeconomic development in 2016, the implementation of several large transport projects, including the launch of the Moscow Central Circle (MCC) railway line, and renovation of the housing stock. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Sobyanin, let us talk about Moscow’s performance in 2016 and plans for 2017. Moscow […]

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Moscow’s authoritarian future

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

Recent moves against Moscow’s street traders don’t only violate Russia’s Constitution and hurt the economy. They also consolidate the regime’s power. (opendemocracy.net – Anastasiya Ovsyannikova – March 9, 2016) Anastasiya Ovsyannikova is an economist and journalist. She has worked for F5 and Cityboom.ru, as well as Moscow’s Sakharov Center. The overnight demolition of 104 street kiosks in Moscow last month […]

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Five Stories From Put-Upon Small Business in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – December 18, 2013) Before Mayor Sergei Sobyanin came to power in 2010, Guram Bolkvadze, a businessman from Georgia, owned 24 kiosks at bus stops across Moscow. Then one day, he was given just a few hours to get his goods out of the shops before the bulldozers came in and leveled 18 […]

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Sobyanin and Putin ‘Talked Over’ Navalny Election Participation

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 21, 2013) Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said that he conferred with President Vladimir Putin about the decision to allow opposition leader Alexei Navalny to participate in the mayoral election on Sept. 8, confirming widespread speculations at the time. Putin and First Deputy Chief of Staff Vyacheslav Volodin “had a positive attitude […]

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RIA Novosti: Moscow Mayor Touts ‘Fair’ Election, Denies Presidential Ambitions

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 16, 2013) ­ Moscow’s pro-Kremlin mayor, who recaptured his post after a closely watched election last weekend, said Monday he would not run for Russia’s presidency in 2018, but suggested that his victory against opposition leader Alexei Navalny has bolstered his legitimacy. Asked about plans to run in the next presidential race, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, […]

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Sobyanin Inaugurated Despite Appeal

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 13, 2013) President Vladimir Putin hailed Moscow’s mayoral elections as fair and transparent at Sergei Sobyanin’s inauguration ceremony Thursday evening, attributing any “opposition votes” to frustration with bureaucrats abusing power. “I’m sure that nobody would’ve voted against Sobyanin. Why would they vote against him? He’s done nothing but good, especially over […]

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How the Moscow mayoral election was stolen

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG, September 12, 2013) Everyone assumes that the Kremlin cheats when it comes to elections. Did the Kremlin steal the Moscow City election for mayor on September 8 from opposition blogger Alexei Navalny? Ballot stuffing has been par for the course. It is widely accepted that the authorities added about 12% to the […]

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RIA Novosti: Pundits Look At Ways To Secure Acting Moscow Mayor’s Election Win

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(RIA Novosti – September 11, 2013) Russian political analysts have offered suggestions to secure acting Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin’s victory at the 9 September election, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on 11 September. Political scientist Vladimir Slatinov said that Sobyanin achieved an “insecure” victory and would need to compensate for “this shortcoming in legitimacy”. “Sobyanin has achieved an […]

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Sobyanin vs Navalny: One wins, did the other lose?

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – September 10, 2013) The pro-Kremlin Moscow mayor-elect Sergei Sobyanin may have won a firm victory in Sunday’s polls, but unexpectedly high results for his rival, opposition activist Alexei Navalny, suggest authorities got more than they bargained for when they called for snap elections. Instead of a mayor legitimized by the first competitive […]

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Prokhorov Regrets Not Running Against Sobyanin

Mikhail Prokohrov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 9, 2013) Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov expressed regret Monday that he had not run for Moscow’s mayor, saying that he would have posed a more serious challenge to the incumbent, Sergei Sobyanin, than opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Prokhorov, leader of the pro-business Civic Platform party, said he had not been able to make a bid […]

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Navalny does better than expected in Moscow mayor election

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 9, 2013) What to make of opposition blogger Alexei Navalny’s unexpectedly strong result in the Moscow mayor elections on Sunday, September 8? With over 98% of the votes counted Navalny received 27.37% against the incumbent Sergei Sobyanin’s 51.15%, the election committee said on Monday, September 9. Navalny’s tally is a lot more than […]

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Televised Mayoral Debates Go Unnoticed

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 6, 2013) Televised debates between the Moscow mayoral candidates did not stir much interest among audiences, with only half a percent of residents watching the most popular round of debates on Aug. 16. Sociologists attributed weak interest to acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s refusal to participate, Kommersant reported. A total of eleven debates have been […]

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Sobyanin claims rivals see mayoral polls as bridgehead in trying ‘to storm the Kremlin’

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 26, 2013) Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has slammed candidates for mayor of the Russian capital who “say that, generally speaking, Moscow is just a stage for them in trying to seize power in the country, to storm the Kremlin.” “I don’t think this trick will work. Neither you and I nor the Muscovites would put […]

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Moscow mayoral battle: Clash of political cultures

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – August 26, 2013) Kremlin ally faces convicted opposition leader Navalny after a date change rules out Prokhorov. A political contest for control of Europe’s largest city has become a fight between Kremlin-backed Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and opposition activist Alexei Navalny. The Sept. 8 election for mayor of Moscow will […]

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Navalny Faces New Pressure as Mayoral Race Heats Up

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova and Ezekiel Pfeifer – August 23, 2013) The mayoral campaign of opposition leader Alexei Navalny faced a new wave of pressure by authorities Thursday as the Moscow Elections Commission warned he could be struck from the ballot and police raided a printer of his campaign materials. With just over two weeks left before […]

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Daughters of fortune

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – August 21, 2013) With Moscow about to vote for a new mayor this September, opposition blogger and candidate for the job Alexei Navalny is doing what he does best: exposing the sweet little earners that come from being well connected. In this case it is Anna Sobyanina, the daughter of Moscow’s incumbent mayor, Sergei […]

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Gorky Park Prepares for Another Radical Makeover

Gorky Park file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – August 20, 2013) Groups of workers squatting on their haunches surrounded by piles of sand and broken tarmac is a common picture for downtown Moscow these days. But Muscovites can keep calm: this is not another 2 billion ruble effort by acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to replace asphalt with tiles on pavements […]

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Acting Moscow Mayor’s Election Documents Complete – Officials

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, August 19, 2013) Moscow mayoral candidate Sergey Sobyanin has provided the full set of documents for registration in the election of Moscow city chief and was registered in total accordance with the law, a spokesperson for the Moscow city electoral commission told RIA Novosti on Monday (19 August). Moscow mayoral nominee from the RPR-Parnas party Aleksey […]

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Scenes from an election campaign

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Anastasia Valeeva – August 16, 2013) Anastasia Valeeva is a Moscow-based journalist working at Public Television of Russia and doing her MA at the University of Siegen, Germany. The upcoming Moscow mayoral election is much in the news because one of the candidates, Alexei Navalny, is appealing against a prison sentence. Anastasia Valeeva gives a snapshot of some […]

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Muscovites Somewhat More Xenophobic than Russians Elsewhere, Polls Show

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 14, 2013) Muscovites are more xenophobic than are Russians living elsewhere in the Russian Federation, a pattern that means that Sergey Sobyanin’s appeal to such attitudes may help him in his race for mayor of the Russian capital, according to the director of the SOVA Analytic Center. In an article in […]

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Sobyanin Support Falls 11% in Latest Poll

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 16, 2013) The latest poll shows that support for acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin slid 11 percentage points, a substantial fall that accompanies better showings from his opponents in the upcoming mayoral election. A survey conducted by Synovate Comcon between Aug. 8 and 14 found that Sobyanin’s support fell from 74.6 percent to 63.5 percent […]

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Moscow Mayoral Race Heats Up In The Home Stretch

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Natalya Dzhanpoladova & Arslan Saidov – MOSCOW, August 14, 2013) According to a recent Levada Center poll, 40 percent of Muscovites believe the campaign for the city’s September 8 mayoral election will be “dirty, featuring slander, falsification, [and] abuse of administrative resources.” The events of the last couple of weeks seem to be proving them right, […]

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VTsIOM promises first round victory of mayoral candidate Sobyanin

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 14, 2013) Sergei Sobyanin would have won the Moscow mayoral election in the first round with 67.4% of the vote if the election were held next Sunday, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. The acting Moscow mayor is the best known candidate – 98% respondents in the VTsIOM telephone poll said they knew him. […]

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No fair play in Moscow mayoral election

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – August 14, 2013) All is fair in love and war – and in the Moscow mayoral race. As Navalny deals with accusations of receiving campaign funding from abroad, Sobyanin’s properties are the target of the opposition. The first major scandals of the Moscow mayoral campaign have erupted. The Prosecutor […]

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More than 50% of Muscovites to vote for Sobyanin – poll

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Maria Stambler – August 14, 2013) On September 8, Muscovites will head to the polling station to vote for the new mayor and between 53-55% have already decided to cast their vote for acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, according to the latest poll by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion. The poll was […]

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Sobyanin Daughter’s Apartment Triggers Controversy

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – August 13, 2013) A seven-story apartment complex on a quiet Moscow street just a five minute walk from the Cabinet building is widely known as the White House, not only thanks to the color of its facade. The house is reportedly home to high-profile government officials inhabiting vast apartments valued at millions […]

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Navalny loses potential voters in Moscow, Sobyanin gains – poll

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 6, 2013) The number of Moscow citizens intending to vote in the upcoming Moscow mayoral elections for Sergei Sobyanin is growing, while the share of those planning to support his main rival Alexei Navalny is decreasing, the research center of Superjob.ru portal said. “Over a half (53%) of those who have already decided on their votes […]

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Two thirds of Moscow residents happy with Sobyanin’s work – poll

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 30, 2013) The share of Moscow residents happy with the work of the Moscow mayor, its government and Moscow City Duma grew, however the majority still think that authorities ignore wishes of Moscow residents when making decisions, sociologists said. The share of Moscow residents happy with the work of acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin grew from […]

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Acting Moscow Mayor Sobyanin vows to ensure as honest elections as possible

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 23, 2013) Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin running for reelection has reaffirmed his intention to do all he can to ensure that the mayoral elections scheduled for September 8 be truly honest. “We don’t need a victory at all costs. We need honest elections, I mean really honest elections,” Sobyanin said at a meeting with members […]

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Poll Shows Sobyanin With Huge Lead in Mayoral Race

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – July 11, 2013) Less than two months before the Moscow mayoral election, an independent public opinion poll shows acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin with a double-digit lead over the other 39 potential candidates, none of whom received even 10 percent of respondents’ support. The poll published Wednesday by the Levada Center named […]

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The Moscow Front

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – July 9, 2013) With Moscow’s election months away and the result likely predetermined, the next big showdown in the Russian capital should come as early as next week. In the last couple days, more than 6,000 people have already joined a special Facebook page calling on Russians to gather on Moscow’s Manezh Square […]

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Sobyanin registers to run for Moscow mayor

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – June 17, 2013) Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has registered with the Moscow Election Commission as a candidate for the upcoming mayoral elections scheduled for September 8. Sobyanin, who officially resigned from his post earlier this month in order to stand for mayor, will be running as an independent candidate, meaning that […]

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Moscow Mayoral Race Kicks Off

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 11, 2013) The official campaign for early Moscow mayoral elections started Tuesday when the publication of the City Duma’s decision to hold the vote on Sept. 8 in City Hall’s official newspaper, Tverskaya 13. Candidates can submit the paperwork required to register their bids with the elections committee from Wednesday, Interfax said. Under stringent […]

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Moscow’s life span reaches European level – Sobyanin

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) Life span in Moscow has almost reach the level common in Europe, said Moscow’s acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. “Muscovites’ life span has increased considerably in recent years, reaching 75.5 years, which is almost as long as in Europe,” he said. The birth rate has risen, too, he said. “About 130,000 births were registered in […]

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Sobyanin has more supporters than opponents amongst Muscovites – poll

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 6, 2013) The Moscow mayor’s rating has grown over the past few months, sociologists said. Thirty percent of Muscovites support Sergei Sobyanin at present. The number was 26% in March, shows a Superjob.ru portal survey done on May 17-20 amongst 2,000 economically active respondents. Men (31%) are more inclined to approve of the mayor’s work than […]

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The art of remaining Moscow mayor

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – David Burghardt – June 6, 2013) Sergei Sobyanin made an unexpected move by resigning as the Moscow mayor and instigating snap elections for September in order to secure the next five years in City Hall. In actuality, Sobyanin holds a solid popularity rating of well over 50 percent among Muscovites, has done a lot to […]

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In Moscow Election, The Fix Is In — Or Is It?

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – June 4, 2013) It’s pretty obvious why Sergei Sobyanin announced today that he will resign as Moscow mayor and run in a snap election in September. What isn’t so clear is whether the gambit will pay off. Appointed in 2010 by then-President Dmitry Medvedev and rubber-stamped by the Moscow City Duma, Sobyanin could […]

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Sobyanin Calls for Early Mayoral Vote

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – June 5, 2013) Mayor Sergei Sobyanin will ask President Vladimir Putin to declare early mayoral elections, the first in Moscow since 2003, in a move analysts said would help ensure Sobyanin’s election in September amid a worsening political climate for the mayor. Sobyanin said his decision was made in the spirit of […]

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Sobyanin Says Investment in City Economy Hits Pre-Crisis Level

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – April 24, 2013) Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Tuesday that investment into the city’s economy reached the pre-crisis level, citing commercial real estate as an example. Twice as much is being invested in Moscow’s commercial real estate as in London, he said at a high-profile panel on the city’s development held by […]

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Sobyanin Touted as Possible Putin Successor

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Winning – February 20, 2013) Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin is among the few politicians capable of appeasing warring factions within the ruling elite and becoming President Vladimir Putin’s successor, a report released Tuesday said. The report, drafted by the influential Minchenko Consulting Group, said that although there exists a broad consensus within Putin’s inner […]

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Moscow to have two ‘subbotniks’ in April

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Aleksandras Budrys – February 19, 2013) Moscow will organize two “subbotniks,” or voluntary labor days, on Saturdays April 20 and April 27, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said at a Moscow government meeting. The tradition of holding “subbotniks” dates back to 1919, when in the early years of Soviet power in Russia, massive voluntary work on weekends […]

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Sobyanin promises to get rid of corrupt officials

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Evgeniya Chaykovskaya – January 23, 2013) Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin promised to rid the city authorities of any potential corrupt officials. “I would like to stress a position of principle for the Moscow government that finding corruption and detaining bribe takers is a big help to city authorities,” Sobyanin said at an open meeting of […]

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