Russian Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova is urging both candidates in Primorye’s invalidated runoff gubernatorial election to refrain from running again in the third round, arguing that incumbent Andrey Tarasenko and challenger Andrey Ishchenko “have lost the public’s confidence and discredited themselves in the eyes of voters.”
Citing health problems, acting Khakassia Governor Viktor Zimin dropped out of a runoff race scheduled for this Sunday. Sources told the magazine RBC that he made the announcement after getting a phone call from someone in the Putin administration.
Responding to widespread criticism of the government’s plan to raise the retirement age, Russia’s state-controlled media has been busy telling readers how important it is to live vigorously into old age to avoid becoming a “grumbling old fogey.” “For many people, a pension is an excuse to stop being active, to become frail, and not to want anything, or to want to do things but not to do them, because their finances or health don’t allow it,” explains one op-ed published by the Rossiya Segodnya news agency. The message to readers is clearly that the reason for older people’s unhappiness is that they retired too early. In reality, Russia is a particularly hard place to grow old. According to the 2015 Global AgeWatch Index, compiled by the NGO HelpAge International, Russia’s “report card” ranked it 65th out of 96 countries. When judged on life expectancy and mental well-being, Russia falls to 86th place. Meduza’s medical news editor Darya Sarkisyan takes a closer look at Russia’s geriatric care infrastructure and how officials have promised to change it.
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Washington added 33 entities and individuals to its sanctions list under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act on Thursday. You can read the State Department’s whole press release here, but these are the three biggest takeaways:
The human rights group Team 29 has released a new report about every known treason and espionage case in Russia’s criminal justice system over the past 20 years. An association of human rights lawyers and journalists, Team 29 has also provided legal assistance to several suspects in these trials. Meduza summarizes the report’s main findings.
(It’s a survey.)
On September 20, the State Duma approved the decision to merge the Reported Incomes Monitoring Commission and the Ethics Commission. Otari Arshba, who chaired the latter group, will head the new amalgamation, leaving the former’s chairwoman, Natalia Poklonskaya, without a post on the new commission. For more than two months, Poklonskaya (who served as Crimea’s first post-annexation attorney general before joining the parliament) has been feuding with her own political party. In July, she was the only United Russia deputy to break ranks and vote against unpopular legislation that will raise the country’s retirement age.
Russia’s Central Election Commission is urging regional election officials in the Primorsky Krai to invalidate the results of last Sunday’s runoff gubernatorial election. Commissioner Ella Pamfilova justified the recommendation on the grounds that it is impossible to determine the race’s outcome reliably because of significant violations at multiple polling stations. In fact, the commission’s “recommendation” is more like a direct order, given that federal officials also say they will invalidate Primorye’s results themselves, if regional officials refuse to do so. Officials in Primorye have promised to reach a decision by Thursday, September 20.
Vladimir Governor Svetlana Orlova, who faces stiff competition in a runoff election on September 23, appealed to her constituents in a recorded video on Wednesday, saying that she “didn’t expect” her low support in the first round of voting, and admitted that she is “of course concerned.”