Regime and the Opposition at the Regional Elections 2020: Between the Demand for Change and the Status Quo

01 Feb 2021

(RAD) Abstract: On September 11–13, 2020, Russians elected 18 governors and 11 subnational legislatures. The “single voting day,” which due to the Covid-19 pandemic stretched over three days, took place in the shadow of the economic crisis and mobilization in Belarus and Khabarovsk. Consequently, the Kremlin prioritized the results over what remains of electoral integrity, filtering out independent candidates, pressuring electoral observers, and doubling down on forced mobilization. This article describes the outcomes of the latest round of subnational elections and argues that although the results confirmed the dominance of regime-backed candidates, the long-term changes in the electorate’s preferences and the tactical innovations employed by the opposition foreshadow a major battle over the parliamentary elections next year.

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