Russian Federation: Aspiring opposition candidates in Duma and local elections threatened, prosecuted, jailed

On 17–19 September 2021, elections to the State Duma will be held in Russia, along with local elections in some constituencies. Against the backdrop of the reported falling popularity of Vladimir Putin and his ruling United Russia party, the authorities are both stepping up reprisals against their critics and trying out ever more direct ways of eliminating their political opponents. In previous elections, the main tools for eliminating unwanted candidates were refusals to register them or their disqualification for minor or imaginary infringements of the electoral process. This time, the authorities are applying a much more heavy-handed and sinister approach.

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