Whether one thinks he's Russia's greatest hope or the most dangerous man in Russia, blogger and activist Aleksei Navalny has dominated the conversation surrounding Moscow's upcoming mayoral elections. But he's just one part of a bigger story.
To analyze the players, the playing field, and the political stakes, RFE/RL and its Russian Service, Radio Svoboda, hosted a live discussion direct from Moscow with a diverse group of journalists, Russian activists and election watchers:
Thursday September 5, 2013
12 noon (Washington, DC) / 8 pm (Moscow)
Watch the Hangout here:
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Mikhail Sokolov - Radio Svoboda Senior Correspondent and host of "Face to Events."
Robert Coalson - RFE/RL's Senior Correspondent with expertise in Russian politics.
Ilya Faibisovich - Political activist, entrepreneur, journalist and blogger (also at ruconomics.com with Mikhail Dubov), and has written for "Bolshoi Gorod" and "Snob." Faibisovich is a 2008 graduate of the London School of Economics and lives in Moscow.
Olga Vlasova - Serves on the Federal Council of the Russian United Democratic Party "Yabloko," which is represented in the mayoral race by Sergey Mitrokhin. A member of "Yabloko" since 2005, Vlasova was elected as the youngest ever member of the party's governing body at its XV Congress in 2008.
Olga Feigina - Member of the Board of the Interregional Public Observers Movement "Sonar," which carries out independent election observation by volunteers in many parts of Russia. A linguist by training who studied in the U.S., she served as a volunteer observer in Moscow of the March 2012 Russian presidential election.
Vladimir Ryzkov - Historian, co-chair of the liberal democratic Republican Party of Russia-People's Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS), and former Russian State Duma member.
You are welcome to post questions in advance and follow updates for live links to the Google+ Hangout on Twitter and Facebook.