Happy days for managed democracy. Sources say the Kremlin welcomes recent election results, and Russia’s ruling political party lives to fight another day

Multiple sources close to Russia’s presidential administration told Meduza that the Kremlin is happy with pro-government candidates’ performance in the September 8, 2019, elections. Officials are especially pleased in the State Council’s Department of Affairs, which is managed by Alexander Kharichev, a close associate of Sergey Kiriyenko, President Putin’s deputy chief of staff and “domestic policy curator.” Responsible for overseeing Russia’s gubernatorial races, Kharichev’s office had a clear task: don’t allow any second-round votes. The Kremlin was eager to avoid a repeat of 2018, when the Putin administration’s candidates couldn’t win first-round elections and lost runoffs in four gubernatorial contests — including elections in the strategically important Primorsky and Khabarovsk regions.

Long-time IT consultant for Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation quits, accusing management of corruption

A long-time IT consultant for the Anti-Corruption Foundation has accused the organization of lying to constituents and mismanaging its volunteer labor force. In a blog post on September 10, Vladislav Zdolnikov announced that he is ending his collaboration with Alexey Navalny’s group, in response to what he says was its public dishonesty surrounding recent elections.

‘We weren’t ready for anything’. This Russian producer grants wishes for terminally ill patients on network TV. We asked him about breaking cultural taboos and racing death to bring joy to his stars.

Last winter, the Russian television channel Pyatnitsa! (Friday!) aired the first four episodes of a new documentary series called Wish to the Sky. The episodes followed the show’s creators as they made dreams come true for terminally ill patients: Some patients took their first trip abroad to see the ocean, others went parachuting or mountain climbing, and still others met their celebrity idols or reconciled their relationships with their parents. Wish to the Sky not only helps patients cope with extreme hardship; the show is an attempt to create a new kind of language for talking about death in Russia. By the time it aired, two of the patients the program featured had passed away. Darya Nevkritaya spoke with Semyon Zakruzhny, a host and producer for Wish to the Sky, about how the project has changed both its heroes and its creators.

Moscow court says opposition leaders must pay 1.2 million rubles in damages for traffic disruptions caused by peaceful protests

Moscow’s Koptevsky District Court has upheld a lawsuit brought by the state-owned bus company “Mosgortrans” against nine opposition leaders who advocated and organized an unpermitted protest in the capital on July 27. The defendants have been ordered to pay 1,218,591 rubles (about $18,630) for supposedly disrupting bus service and reducing the company’s revenue.