TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with elected Russian regional leaders

Putin Descending a Staircase file photo

(Kremlin.ru – Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region, September 10, 2013) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting with heads of Russian regions voted in during regional elections held on the single election day. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Dear colleagues, good afternoon, Voting has closed and you have won your elections; naturally I must congratulate you on your victory and wish you success. I […]

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Putin Lauds Elections as Most Transparent Ever

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 11, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday hailed the recent regional elections as “more transparent than ever” as Moscow’s elections commission announced acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin as the official winner of the city’s mayoral vote and set his inauguration ceremony for Thursday. Describing the elections as “legitimate, transparent and regulated,” Putin […]

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Three Who Lost the Russian Election

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 10, 2013) Even as Russians debate whether Aleksey Navalny won by losing, it is already clear that three groups lost the Russian revolution: the KPRF which suffered its worst defeat ever, the Russian people whose political alienation led to an extraordinarily low turnout, and the Kremlin itself which demonstrated its incapacity […]

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Roizman’s Victory a Blow to United Russia, Analysts Say

Yekaterinburg file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – September 10, 2013) Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city, elected outspoken opposition politician Yevgeny Roizman as its mayor on Sunday, in a move that dealt a blow to pro-Kremlin forces but gave little actual power to the winner, pundits said. Roizman’s success likely stems from voters’ disappointment with regional authorities and Roizman’s reputation as […]

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Vorobyov wins gubernatorial election in Moscow region with nearly 79% of vote – final data

Andrei Vorobyov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW. September 9, 2013) Andrei Vorobyov won the gubernatorial election in the Moscow region with 78.94% of the vote, Moscow regional elections commission chairman Irek Vildanov told Interfax. “A. Vorobyov won the election of the Moscow region’s governor upon processing of 100% of voting result reports. He gained 78.94% of the vote,” Vildanov said. Konstantin Cheremisov (the Communist […]

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Prokhorov: Navalny’s performance phenomenal but I would have won in first round

Mikhail Prokohrov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 9, 2013) Election performance of opposition candidate Alexei Navalny was phenomenal, Civil Platform party leader Mikhail Prokhorov said, adding that he could have defeated Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin already in the first round. “The preliminary result of Alexei (Navalny) makes me think that they (the authorities) must have realized there would have not been any […]

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Moscow Voters Explain Their Choices

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 9, 2013) Moscow held its first mayoral election in nearly 10 years on Sunday, and voter turnout amounted to less than 30 percent, according to exit polls. The contenders included acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Communist Ivan Melnikov, Liberal Democrat Mikhail Degtyarev, Yabloko party chairman Sergei Mitrokhin, and A Just Russia’s […]

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Generation N: How Navalny Shook Up Politics With His Army Of Volunteers

Alexei Navalny file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, September 9, 2013) For Aleksei Shagal, it all began when he read one of Aleksei Navalny’s blog posts. The 27-year-old freelance journalist was deeply inspired by Navalny, an anticorruption blogger with a nationalist streak, and was propelled for the first time in his life into political activism. Shagal joined the throngs who […]

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Navalny: this election gives birth to genuine Russian opposition

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – September 10, 2013) No incidents occurred during the Monday rally staged by supporters of opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who ranked second in the Moscow mayoral elections, on Bolotnaya Square. “This election has finally molded politics in Russia,” Navalny said at the rally. He called his election result a victory. “I know that a third of Moscow voters cast […]

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Moscow Election Hints at New Political Reality

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 10, 2013) Kremlin-backed candidate Sergei Sobyanin got a victory at Moscow’s mayoral election Sunday, but opposition star Alexei Navalny walked away with a symbolic victory by getting more than he or the government bargained for, analysts said. According to official results, Navalny garnered 633,000 votes in a city with 7.25 million […]

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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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Moscow elections commission endorses ballot results: 51.37% for Sobyanin, 27.24% for Navalny

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

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 10, 2013) The Moscow city elections commission endorsed official results of the mayoral election on Tuesday. Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin was proclaimed the winner. He gained 51.37% of the vote while the voter turnout stood at 32.07%. RPR-PARNAS candidate Alexei Navalny ranked second with 27.24% of the vote. Ivan Melnikov (the Communist Party) was third […]

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Home voting could have distorted outcome of Moscow mayoral elections – Golos movement

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 9, 2013) Human rights activists call the organization of the Sunday mayoral elections in Moscow exemplary but quoting their own sources say that a runoff could be held to determine the mayor. “There were no crude breaches of law, but there were subtle irregularities which we still have to study,” cochairman of Golos movement council Grigory […]

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Golos doesn’t find serious violations during Moscow mayoral election

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

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 8, 2013) Human rights defenders did not find any serious violations that might influence the outcomes of the Moscow mayoral elections as of the moment polling stations closed down. “No such violations were recorded as of the moment polling stations closed down. But another important procedure, the count of votes, is still ahead,” Golos co-leader Grigory […]

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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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Interfax: Medvedev: September 8 elections were not easy, real competition is in place

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Interfax – September 9, 2013) Moscow mayoral election procedureRussian Prime Minister, leader of the United Russia party Dmitry Medvedev thinks that the single election day, September 8, showed a real political competition in Russia. “The elections were not easy. They showed the increased activity of non-parliamentary parties, including the recently registered ones. In general, there were 110,000 candidates from 54 […]

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Navalny’s election result opens up his political vistas – policy expert

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 8, 2013) Opposition activist Alexei Navalny scored high in the Moscow mayoral elections and he has a political future, Center for Political Technologies First Vice-President Alexei Makarkin said. Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin is leading in the election with 56% of the vote, and Navalny goes second with 29%, according to the Center for Political Technologies’ […]

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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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Interfax: Golos doesn’t expect vote-rigging in Moscow, Moscow region

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

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 5, 2013) There will be no vote-rigging in Moscow, the Moscow region, or any other regions of Russia, the Golos movement said. “The situation in some regions has changed dramatically, primarily in Moscow and the Moscow region. I am almost confident that there will be no direct vote-rigging on the voting day and the ballots will […]

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Election Season: Voting for Moscow Mayor

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – September 6, 2013) On September 8, Muscovites will take to the polling booths to cast their votes for the next mayor of the capital. That wasn’t supposed to happen this year; incumbent Sergei Sobyanin still had two years left in his term when he unexpectedly announced in June that he would step […]

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Mayoral Hopefuls Make Final Push

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – MOSCOW, September 6, 2013) The six Moscow mayoral candidates entered their final 48 hours of campaigning on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s election, meeting with journalists, voters and competitors in order to press home their campaign messages and attempt to discredit their opponents. Anti-Kremlin protest leader Alexei Navalny and the Communists lashed out at President Vladimir […]

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Navalny Backs Economic Amnesty, Windfall Tax on Privatized Assets

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Goryachev and Oleg Sukhov – September 3, 2013) Mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny has voiced support for an economic amnesty and a windfall tax on some privatized assets at a high-profile meeting with businessmen and top executives, Vedomosti reported. The event was the first public meeting with entrepreneurs during Navalny’s campaign, with the previous ones […]

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Leader of Embattled Elections Watchdog Has Left Russia, Report Says

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 5, 2013) A leader of the independent election watchdog Golos has left Russia to continue her work abroad due to a lack of financial support from the state, a news report said Thursday. Lilia Shibanova said she saw no point in remaining in Russia after Golos was barred from observing nationwide elections in June […]

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Citizens can ensure fair elections themselves

File Image of Map of Russia for Polling Place Webcams

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Makar Butkov, special to RBTH – August 27, 2013) The protests in the winter of 2011-2012 used “For Fair Elections” as a slogan.  Subsequently, many politically active citizens became observers at the presidential elections that March. This year, the Election Commission is being formed five years early. What is the Russian Election Commission, […]

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Kremlin Now Views Elections as Way to Distract and Divide Society Rather than as Threat to Itself, Commentators Say

File Image of Map of Russia for Polling Place Webcams

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 28, 2013) ­ The statement by Vyacheslav Volodin, first deputy chief of Presidential Administration, that Moscow won’t block opposition candidates is just for show, Russian analysts say, but it does indicate that the Kremlin has sufficient confidence in its ability to manage the process in ways that will distract and divide […]

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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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Prokhorov’s Future Hazy as Elections Approach

Mikhail Prokohrov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – August 27, 2013) Civil Platform leader Mikhail Prokhorov’s future seemed uncertain Monday as he denied a report that he would leave politics, while analysts said the billionaire may have indeed scaled down his political ambitions even as his party establishes itself ahead of regional elections. Some commentators argued that the tycoon’s refusal […]

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Paid political rallies do brisk business in Moscow

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – August 26, 2013) Paying or coercing participants to come to rallies is an ongoing issue in the capital’s political sphere It’s a warm summer morning, and I’m standing with a disjointed cluster of about fifteen people outside Tretyakovskaya metro station. A young blonde woman ­ dressed in grey sweatpants and a hoodie with dangling rabbit […]

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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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Campaign Against Migrants Gains Momentum as Elections Loom

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – August 22, 2013) All illegal street markets will be closed in the Moscow region by the end of this year, acting Moscow region governor Andrei Vorobyov said Wednesday as the campaign against illegal immigrants amid two key elections was gaining momentum. During debates on regional television on Tuesday, Vorobyov boasted a 15 […]

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Businesses Urge Mayoral Hopefuls to Pursue Laissez-Faire Policy

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Guennadi Moukine – August 22, 2013) Small business representatives called for equality before the law and less interference from the government, sharing their concerns with Moscow mayoral candidate teams at a round-table discussion organized by the For an Honest Market movement Wednesday. The meeting was attended by mayoral candidate Sergei Mitrokhin of the liberal Yabloko […]

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Navalny’s Campaign Relies on Innovation

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 22, 2013) Standing on a soapbox, mayoral hopeful Alexei Navalny asks the people who’ve gathered to listen to his campaign speech near Timiryazevskaya railway station: “What do you know about me?” After a brief silence, someone in the crowd hesitatingly replies: “Corruption.” “What do you mean corruption? You mean I stole […]

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Leading Russian pollster rejects opposition hopeful’s figures for mayoral vote

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, August 20, 2013) The opinion poll data published by Moscow mayoral candidate (from the opposition RPR-Parnas party) Aleksey Navalnyy, which indicate that a second round is possible in the mayoral election on 8 September, do not reflect the real balance of forces and are dictated by the wish to influence voters, VTsIOM (Russian Public Opinion Research Centre) […]

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Golos Reborn in Time for Election Day

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 21, 2013) Sitting in a tiny room that serves as a temporary office for elections watchdog Golos, Grigory Melkonyants, a senior member of the now defunct organization, is full of enthusiasm. Despite the roller-coaster ride the organization has been through in recent months caused by sanctions placed on it by the […]

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Navalny gives account on election fund spending on Internet

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 19, 2013) Moscow mayor candidate Alexei Navalny said that he had spent 47 million rubles on the election campaign and that he asked his supporters to keep transferring money. “Over five weeks passed since the fundraising campaign began. You have given us over 49 million rubles during this time. Over 8,000 people donated to our election […]

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Navalny staff denies violations in fund raising

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 19, 2013) The campaign staff of opposition activist, Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny has denied fund raising violations insinuated by the Interior Ministry. “Apparently, everything we have done is absolutely legal. They can do nothing but post a press release with scary words every Monday,” Navalny campaign staff head Leonid Volkov told Interfax on Monday. “The […]

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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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Medvedev: All regions should ultimately switch to direct elections

Map of Russia

(Interfax – PYATIGORSK, August 19, 2013, 2013) All Russian regions should ultimately switch to direct elections, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. A young man asked Medvedev at the Mashuk-2013 North Caucasus youth forum on Monday whether regional elections should be direct like national elections, or if regional leaders should be appointed depending on the a region’s specific situation. “Elections should […]

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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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Navalny Seeks Votes from Non-Russian Diasporas in Moscow

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 19, 2013) Aleksey Navalny, despite his reputation for “politically incorrect” Russian nationalist statements, has now turned to Moscow’s non-Russian diasporas for a very simple reason: they form a minimum of 1.5 million of the city’s residents and cannot be ignored by anyone who hopes to win election there. Last week, the […]

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Navalny Won’t Participate in Future Debates

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 19, 2013) Opposition blogger Alexei Navalny has announced that he will not participate in the next rounds of mayoral debates, both televised and on the radio. The Navalny campaign criticized the decision by television channel Moskva-Doverie to air the debate at 8 a.m., Interfax reported. Last week Navalny, the RPR-Parnas candidate, participated in three […]

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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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Putin’s Men Crack Down on Migrants as Moscow Mayor Race Heats Up

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov & Stepan Kravchenko – August 14, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened Moscow’s first detention camp for illegal immigrants as migrants become the main concern among voters preparing for the city’s first mayoral election since 2003. The tarpaulin tents for 600 people, surrounded by an eight-meter (26 feet) fence, signal the campaign for […]

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Apartment Raid Leaves Navalny Supporters Baffled

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 15, 2013) Supporters of mayoral hopeful Alexei Navalny on Wednesday were struggling to find answers over an incident that took place Tuesday evening that saw police force their way into a central Moscow apartment to seize what they said were illegal campaign materials. In a statement released Wednesday, police explained the […]

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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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Messiah or false prophet? [re: Navalny]

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(opendemocracy.net – Daniil Kotsyubinsky – August 13, 2013) Daniil Kotsyubinsky is a Russian historian and journalist based in St. Petersburg For the past month, Moscow has been following the fortunes of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny ­ trial, imprisonment, implausible release and continuing Mayoral ambitions. But can all really be as it seems? Daniil Kotsyubinsky presents an alternative view. Moscow’s hot […]

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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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