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ADVISORY: Moscow’s Summer of Discontent

A woman holds a poster reading "Give us back our elections in Moscow!" in front of police during a protest in Moscow (10Aug2019)

Residents of Moscow will head to the polls this Sunday, September 8 to elect a new City Duma. The elections represent the culmination of a summer of discontent in Russia’s capital, which has been rocked by weeks of protests against the central election commission’s decision to ban many opposition candidates from the ballot. Local police have responded to the protests with violence and more than 2,000 arrests that have already led to jail sentences that supporters of the accused have said are grossly unfair. Several families have also been threatened with deprivation of their parental rights and the loss of their children, for taking them to a protest rally.

RFE/RL’s Russian Service and Current Time TV provided live coverage and analysis of the protests that has been viewed online millions of times over the past several weeks, even as State TV and pro-Kremlin media -- from large outlets to little-known websites – sought to discredit the rallies as gatherings of tattooed youth, senile retirees, LGBTQ activists, communists, assorted fringe groups, and foreigners seeking to undermine Russia.

Contact RFE/RL journalists for updates and insight into the elections and continuing tensions in Moscow:


To schedule an interview with any of RFE/RL's experts, contact Yevgeniy Sydorov in Washington (; +1.202.457.6952), or Joanna Levison in Prague (; +420.221.122.080).

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