The biggest names among the winners of the elections in Russia
Russia held controversial parliamentary elections last weekend that were marred by allegations of massive fraud by giving the ruling United Russia party a qualified majority in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament.
Although final results are due on Friday, election officials have counted 100% of the ballots and most of the winners have already been named.
Here are some of the most well-known faces who have won the Duma, races for local assembly and governor, or who have made a difference.
Sardane Avksentiyeva, who was the first female mayor of the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk until her resignation earlier this year, ran for the Duma as a member of the newly formed New People Party.
New People, which is chaired by the founder of direct-selling giant Faberlic, Alexei Nechaev, scratched a 5% voting margin to win multiple seats in the 450-member Duma.
Avksentiyeva said she resigned as mayor of Yakutsk for health reasons, although unconfirmed reports linked his sudden departure to pressure from the authorities.
Yevgeny Popov is best known to Russian audiences as the co-host of a disparaging Western talk show with his wife Olga Skabeeva on the public channel Rossiya TV, one of the most watched channels in Russia.
Popov, a United Russia member who started his journalistic career with Rossiya in the Russian Far East in the early 2000s, will now switch careers after beating a Communist Party challenger to win 35.17% of the vote in Moscow.
This vote, like others in Moscow’s single-mandate districts, came under fire after non-United Russia candidates saw their lead reversed as soon as election officials began posting the results of the vote online, who handed over to the members of United Russia all the districts of the capital.
Critics also raised suspicions about a days delay in releasing remote voting results, which led election officials to announce a recount – albeit without legal force to change the results. Election officials said they plan to expand remote voting to 85 Russian regions in the future, causing disapproval among critics of e-voting.
Ramzan kadyrov, the strongman of the Republic of Chechnya, in southern Russia, will extend his reign of 14 years over the conservative Muslim-majority region after winning the ballot with 99.7% of the vote.
Kadyrov and several of his associates face US sanctions for human rights violations, including the alleged kidnapping, torture and murder of Chechen men suspected of being gay and the 2015 murder of the prominent figure of the opposition Boris Nemtsov near the Kremlin. Critics have accused Kadyrov of orchestrating reprisals against opponents outside Chechnya’s borders after several high-profile murders of Chechen activists have rocked European capitals in recent years.
Kadyrov is seen as being given a carte blanche in his repressive Kremlin regime in return for his loyalty to President Vladimir Putin.
Several prominent Russian athletes won for United Russia, including hockey players Vladislav Tretyak and Vyacheslav Fetisovboxer Nikolai Valuev, biathlete Anton Shipulin and figure skater Irina Rodnina.
Maria butina, who was deported to Russia in 2019 after serving most of an 18-month sentence for conspiring to act as a foreign agent in the United States, did not get enough votes on a list of the United Russia party in the Kirov region.
Observers note, however, that Butina – who campaigned for gun rights in the United States and tried to persuade ex-President Donald Trump’s campaign to establish a back door channel of communication with Russia – may still become a Duma lawmaker if another United Russia winner gives up their seat.
Since returning to Russia, Butina has hosted a show on state-owned RT broadcaster, spoke publicly about torture in US prisons, and conducted a provocative interview with jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny of his penal colony.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov also won nominal Duma seats after Putin picked them to lead the United Russia candidate list to increase the party’s overdue approval ratings.
Reports Over the past week, they said the pair intended to relinquish their mandates and keep their ministerial posts, which would theoretically allow Butina to replace them in the Duma.
The chief doctor of the Moscow coronavirus hospital Denis protsenko and ombudsman for children Anna kuznetsova also dominated the United Russia ticket in the Duma race. Reports say consultations are underway to determine whether the two will return to their day jobs or become federal lawmakers within the next five years.
Citing anonymous sources, the RBC news site in Russia reported On Thursday, Kuznetsova will become the only one of United Russia’s top five candidates – whose portraits were plastered on nationwide billboards during the campaign – to take her seat in the State Duma.