Next up: we’re speaking with members of the Russian opposition. In the March presidential election, Putin won nearly 77% of the vote, securing another 6 yrs in power. He controls the airwaves and decides who can run against him.…
Anti-Kremlin candidates face big obstacles. They get limited airtime and must go through an arduous registration process. Some face trumped-up criminal charges, prison sentences, and death threats. #OnAssignment
Still, independent candidates are vying to be heard despite the odds. @leonidvolkov, who managed @navalny’s aborted presidential bid, was imprisoned for 65 days. His 350 staffers spent a total of 2.5K days in jail last year.
Some opposition activists are devising new strategies to challenge the Kremlin. @me_vitali spent years working on American political campaigns, including for @BernieSanders. Now he runs a political incubator in Russia, fielding and training first-time independent candidates.
.@me_vitali’s goal is to make Russian politics “as easy as an Uber ride” by lowering barriers to entry for aspiring politicians. He helped elect 267 independent candidates in local races last year. Now he hopes some of them will run for higher office.…
We also caught up with @IlyaYashin, who’s running for mayor of Moscow. His friend, Boris Nemstov, was a prominent opposition politician until he was assassinated steps away from the Kremlin in 2015.
Nemstov’s fate isn’t deterring @IlyaYashin. “We understand that every one of us can be in jail, can be killed. But if you are not ready to keep fighting, you should stop,” he tells @RichardEngel.
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