(Bloomberg) What was supposed to be a sleepy round of off-cycle regional elections on Sunday has turned into a referendum on President Vladimir Putin and his ruling United Russia party.
Initial results in a few races for governor appeared to show good news for the Kremlin even as its candidates faced unusual opposition in several regions across the country amid stagnant incomes and unpopular reforms. [...]
“The authorities still haven’t learned the necessary lesson yet from previous setbacks, that people are voting against them rather than against imperfect candidates,” said Nikolai Petrov, a fellow at London-based Chatham House think tank. “The overall social mood, just like in the last elections, remains unfavorable.”
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