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Anti-Corruption Investigators Launch Election Campaign in Putin’s Backyard

A few miles west of Moscow, the road starts to be lined with walls. There are section walls, mill walls, petrify walls, high walls, and some really high walls. Here and there, a gothic building or a pillared masquerade peeks over the top.

These are the walls of Barvikha — the Russian Beverly Hills.

Even in Soviet times, this widen of the Rublyovskoye Shosse was dotted with dachas for top officials and intellectuals. And since the 1990s, the Russian chosen have swarming here. A few miles serve along the road is President Vladimir Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo estate. Proximity to power has captivated oligarchs and top officials.

“Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Aeroflot arch Vitaly Savelyev, Senator Dmitry Sablin — It’s the same people that we’re always investigating,” says Ivan Zhdanov, a lawyer at the anti-corruption account led by opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Zhdanov and his colleagues are on the attack. They have come to Barvikha to launch an audacious choosing campaign, right in the assault heart of the Russian establishment.

The anti-corruption account wants  to margin a team of six in local elections set for April. If any of them are inaugurated to the 10-seat metropolitan government, they will benefit change over the regional bill and land decisions.

“It would boost a ability to directly quarrel corruption,” says Roman Rubanov, the director of the fund. Dodgy land deals and avoidance of property taxes are abundant in these parts, he says: “We’ll force them to pay.”

The campaign will yield the first genuine exam of the Kremlin’s new choosing strategy. Earlier this month, forward of nationwide elections after this year, authorities private tip choosing officials indicted of overseeing rascal during prior votes, signaling that this year’s elections should be viewed as some-more honest.

With the campaign in Barvikha, Navalny is contrast the authorities’ nerve. They face a choice, Navalny wrote on his website: “Either concede honest elections and risk removing some inquisitive deputies in their backyard, or use normal means of dealing with unattractive deputies, and end hopes of fairer elections.”

Traditionally, “undesirable deputies” are private from elections before a ballot is cast. Rubanov himself submitted his papers to take partial in a Barvikha opinion with choosing officials on March 15. They were legally immaculate, he says, “but as always, it’s a political preference either they register us or not.” He has no thought that approach it will go.

Regional politics in Barvikha are oiled with money. Threats, bribes and physical assault are commonplace, says Konstantin Gavrikov, an activist internal politician. In 2007, Valery Yakovlev, a former internal supervision central overseeing skill sales, was blown adult in his Lexus on the categorical road.

But alongside the money — Barvikha is the richest farming segment in Russia — lives an impoverished class. Very small income filters down to locals who aren’t partial of the elite.

When Rubanov and Zhdanov, dressed in shirts and ties, went knocking on doors, they found copiousness of resentment to tap into: “It’s out of control — we live a lives along walls,” says Elena, 49, station in her unblemished pinkish corridor underneath a small idol of an approved saint. “This place is full of palaces,” says Maria, 39, at the pathway of another apartment. “But they won’t compensate for insulin for my diabetic baby.”

Even if they are barred from running, Rubanov pronounced their coming had energized the election and local politics. There has been a rush of candidates induction to run, he said. “We have decreased the chances that pro-government or mafia possibilities will get elected.”

Article source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/562830.html