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But none of this stops Yelena Rusakova, who before the September election was the only liberal deputy on the Gagarinsky council.

Moscow has continued to be a hotbed of opposition during Putin’s tenure, even as the federal government pours billions of dollars into urban improvement and new transportation infrastructure.“The authorities understand that a voter in Moscow requires a more sophisticated approach—straightforward suppression of the opposition doesn’t really work,” said Abbas Gallyamov, a political consultant who used to work for the government supervising regional election campaigns.Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin might maintain a strong grip on Russia, but since a Sept.10 election, the ancient fortress on the Moscow River is surrounded by the opposition.This would extend his presidency to 2024, completing almost a quarter-century in power as the longest-serving Russian ruler since Josef Stalin.Liberal candidates for national and regional offices have repeatedly come under pressure by the government during his tenure.The district (population: 79,000) is a showcase of Soviet urban planning.

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