Image by CC BY-SA 4.0, from Wikimedia Commons.  Accessed 30.07.2018


As Russia has bid farewell to the World Cup, domestic attention shifts to an upcoming political occasion of significance – the regional elections scheduled to take place on the 9th of September 2018. For the federal government, the most important of them will be the election of the next Mayor of Russia’s capital and the country’s richest city, Moscow.

Since 2010, the city has been governed by Sergei Sobyanin, a native Siberian and a very close ally of Vladimir Putin – so much so that the upcoming mayoral elections in Moscow promise to be a mini-copy of the presidential election that took place in March this year.

In September, Sobyanin will run as an independent candidate against a background of bleak members of the parties of the so-called parliamentary opposition. Just like Putin, he has placed himself above politics by declaring he would not participate in public debates “because there is nobody to debate with” (Vedomosti, 11.07.2018).

His campaign is being run by the same volunteers and political technologists as Putin’s, and – in the absence of competition and intrigue – their main challenge will be to increase turnout and avoid protests.

Today’s analysis looks at the person behind it all who is described as the most successful career technocrat, and is rumoured to have ambitions for the country’s highest political post.