Oleg Reut, a Kennan Institute alum and political scientist from Petrozavodsk, analyzed the results of the Moscow mayoral election, where oppositional candidate Alexei Navalny unexpectedly won 27% of the vote. According to Reut, Navalny is an illusion of a real alternative to the current government.  The people who voted for Navalny consider themselves the democratic opposition. Liberals, liberal conservatives, Republicans, the Christian Democrats, populists, and nationalists all tried to find in Navalny a vehicle for all of their consolidated, various ideas. "Due to this union of Muscovites, who unjustifiably consider themselves democrats, the real democrats will be forced to pay a high price as early as tomorrow,” Reut commented. Read the full article at Liberty.ru. [In Russian]

Update: Oleg Reut analyzes the reasons for the failure of United Russia and the totally unexpected victory of the unknown, independent candidate in the Petrozavodsk mayoral elections. In Reut’s opinion, unfortunately, in this protest vote, there is very little substance that differs from the similar movements taking place in the Russian capital, where slogans of democracy, political competition, human rights, and the necessity for change appear dominant. The author points to growing gap between politicians and citizens, power and society in the capital of Karelia. This will lead to further fragmentation of the urban populace into a vast number of groups, united on non-political grounds. It isn’t surprising that in one of her first interviews, Petrozavodsk mayor-elect, G. Shirshina responded that she was not a politician, but rather a manager. To the question of whether or not she analyzed the mistakes of her predecessor, she admitted that in general she does not tend to analyze. Read the full piece attached as a word document. [In Russian]