They told me to get a job. How convicted nationalist agitator Dmitry Demushkin left a prison colony for a gig as the mayor of a Moscow suburb

In May of 2019, the Russian nationalist Dmitry Demushkin was released from Russia’s prison colony system and almost immediately became the mayor of Barvikha, a wealthy suburb of Moscow. He had to do the job remotely: municipal consolidation efforts in Moscow Oblast have threatened to merge Barvikha into the Odintsovo Urban Okrug, and the district government considers Demushkin’s appointment illegal. Nonetheless, the town’s communist activists, who took over the local government in 2016 and then invited the nationalist to lead it, don’t intend to give in without a fight, and Demushkin himself plans to try and take over the entire district next. Meduza set out to tell the story of how Barvikha, where some of the richest people in Russia have homes alongside the president himself, turned from a symbol of capitalism into a “red town” with an avowed Russian nationalist and convicted extremist at its head.