“I’m going to the polls because I see millions of people in Russia opposed to the war” — Nikolai Kasyan
24 years old, Yabloko, Khamovniki District, constituency No. 3
I am going to the polls with the support of Yabloko. I did not begin to collect signatures on my own, because I decided that then it would be more likely that I would be removed. I saw with what pain and with what reputational losses Mikhail Lobanov and other opposition candidates were deprived of their mandate in the elections to the State Duma. Each such story leads, firstly, to the delegitimization of elected institutions, and secondly, it is associated with significant difficulties for the regime. If the opposition had stayed at home, then in the absence of competition there would have been no need to falsify anything - United Russia would simply have won. Now it is quite obvious that it was necessary to campaign for elections to the State Duma.
Elections and a mandate are not an end in themselves for me, but an instrument of political work. I went to the polls because I see tens of millions of opposition-minded people in Russia opposed to the war. Now they sit in their kitchens and watch those who have the opportunity leave. They get the feeling that they are alone against everyone, and some kind of madness is going on around. I consider it very important to inspire these people and show that there are much more of us than it seems.
Elections and a mandate are not an end in themselves for me, but an instrument of political work
Khamovniki is a very oppositional area. Here, too, Alexei Navalny had an excellent result in 2013, and Yabloko traditionally shows good results here. Now we are doing door-to-door tours and distributing newspapers, as well as reports on the activities of municipal deputies of the previous convocation. We position ourselves as their successors, and this is important for people. The same team continues to conduct business, which has proven its effectiveness in comparison with the previous "United Russia" convocations, and if one of them did not go to the polls, it means that another one came instead.
Now in Khamovniki, landscaping is terribly noisy, while it has touched half of the district, but it is obvious that next season it will spread to another. Nobody asks the people who live here and have everything remodeled under their windows. It seems that some kind of “fake” voting was held on the “Active Citizen”, but for some reason not only residents of our district, but also the whole of Moscow, could participate in it. There was already a lot of evidence that the results of such votes are being “drawn”. Therefore, no one has confidence in this procedure.
There are a lot of areas of work, but the main thing is to show people an example that politics can be with a human face. It is important to listen to them and communicate with the residents of the area. Now in Moscow, the system is arranged in such a way that it is very difficult to achieve something serious, but people see that the deputy runs with them through these dug up construction sites, takes pictures, writes complaints, receives replies and complains to the prosecutor's office about those who wrote this reply. It is necessary to explain that our powers were specifically taken away so that we could not fully help the residents.
People need to be explained that our powers were specifically taken away so that we could not fully help them.
If a municipal deputy takes up some kind of “case” and butts with him for a year, then as a result someone may be removed from his post or the developer company will receive a fine of several million rubles. Residents of the area see a person who represents their interests. Over the course of several years, this process changes voters' perceptions of politics. Stamps that everyone has been stuffed with for the past 20 years, for example, “politics is always dirty”, “nothing can be changed”, “you all just climb into the feeder”, disappear when people get their own politician.
We see many politicians in Russia who are not prosecuted. Ilya Yashin was imprisoned, but he is a federal politician of the first echelon. Comparing us is a bit ridiculous. I try on the experience of candidates and acting deputies and see that a rather flexible tactic has been chosen against them. Those who have the highest rating are not sent to prison. They are arrested for 15 days, they are given a protocol on the demonstration of extremist symbols and removed from the elections. We see that the Kremlin learned some lessons from the 2019 Moscow elections and decided not to draw too much attention to this vote. It is pointless to argue with the fact that a person who is involved in politics has a higher chance of going to jail. However, objectively, this probability is greatly exaggerated.
I expected pressure in this election, and I faced it. On August 25, I was arrested for 5 days under Art. 20.3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (“Demonstration of extremist symbols”) for two posts on VKontakte in 2016 and 2017. They were allegedly discovered by a resident of Khamovniki born in 1937. In her statement, she wrote that she did not know me personally and stumbled upon my page on VKontakte, where I have not written anything for many years, by accident. Apparently, she liked me so much that she started scrolling through my tape for years, until she found a video with the logo of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which she immediately reported to the police. On September 6, a commission was appointed, on the agenda of which was the question of removing my candidate status, but I filed an appeal against my arrest with the Moscow City Court.
If I had been arrested just one day earlier, I could have been removed from this election by a court. The Moscow City Court would have quickly considered the appeal and found that I was guilty. But, apparently, someone simply miscalculated with the date, and I continue to participate in the elections ( later it became known that Nikolai Kasyan's appeal would be urgently considered on September 7).
“I try not to talk about events in Ukraine” - Nikita Kozlov
22 years old, self-nominated, Mozhaysky district, constituency No. 2
This winter, I took classes at the school of independent candidates Mikhail Lobanov and Alexander Zamyatin, and then I was included in the list of candidates from the platform for supporting independent candidates " Nomination ". Many were stopped from participating in the campaign by the fact that United Russia would draw votes for itself. I understand very well that even if we run a very strong campaign, the election results can still be falsified. But then I can at least say to myself that I did everything in my power.
I grew up and live in the Mozhaisk district, this is the west of Moscow, and here, compared to many other parts of the city, the situation with ecology, greenery and the quality of infrastructure is better. At the same time, CJSC is one of the leaders among the districts of Moscow in terms of the number of documents issued for construction. Now we are trying to build up Tolbukhin's dacha - this is a building in the neoclassical style, built in the post-war period for Marshal Tolbukhin. It is all surrounded by oak trees planted before the war, and now they are going to cut it all down and build elite housing. The council does not hear people and makes decisions on improvement in an absolutely incomprehensible way. We have been campaigning against this for the past week and a half, collecting signatures and preparing letters to various departments.
The administration does not hear people and makes decisions on improvement in an absolutely incomprehensible way
We do not have enough places in polyclinics, and we are also starting a campaign on this issue. Of course, the council of municipal deputies does not have special powers, but if people like us sit there and constantly harass officials, then we have a chance to make people hear.
We started the campaign at the end of May and carried out a series of campaigns with separate collection of waste. They also organized subbotniks: we have a problem with the Setunya River, which is not properly maintained. We are constantly trying to get Mosvodostok and other departments to do their job. It turned out that they simply do not have enough employees. We organized a collection of humanitarian aid for refugees and donated it to humanitarian funds. We also made a district newspaper and handed it out on the streets, told about the existing problems together with the activists of the district, and began door-to-door tours.
The most important thing for me is interaction with the activist district community. It's not just people who share their problems. They already have experience in fighting for the district, they constantly interact with deputies and are aware of new development plans. For these people, I especially want to do something and help them. We have a lot of district activists, and very often these people are not the youngest. Without the local community it would be much harder. Our mission now is to increase it following the results of the election campaign.
Collecting signatures, I met people who said that they would not sign for us since we are against United Russia. However, there are much fewer such residents than those who see that something wrong is happening around, but simply do not have a pronounced position. They approve of our fight against developers and officials at the district level. Many criticize the mayor of Moscow. In my opinion, opposition-minded people are in the majority in Moscow. I notice that the level of support for United Russia is very low.
I try not to talk to people about the events in Ukraine. We all use different information resources, and someone may be in an information bubble. To sort things out and prove something to each other is counterproductive, it is better to look for common ground with potential voters, to include them in the circle of the district community. If they begin to communicate closely with us, then it will be possible to talk, including on this topic.
It is better to look for common ground with potential voters, to include them in the circle of the district community
Now it is difficult to imagine how the power part of our state machine works. However, it is still clear what red lines are on this municipal election campaign. Since I'm not ready to sacrifice my destiny that much, I try to be very careful and campaign with an eye on them - both when writing posts on social networks, and in some cases even when communicating with people.
I do what I think is right to insure against risks. May we not have a bright and heroic campaign that people will then discuss on social networks. But let's not sacrifice ourselves. This way we will be more useful.
“We honestly answer the voters that we are against what is happening in Ukraine” - Milena Belyakova
19 years old, Yabloko, Basmanny district, constituency No. 3
I'm going to the polls in the Basmanny district in a team of six people from Yabloko. Our unifying force was the human rights activist and opposition politician Nikolai Kavkazsky. He called people first as observers, and then began to offer to run. Nikolai was not allowed to participate in the elections due to a conviction for a year ago, a post on social networks with the symbols of “Smart Voting”.
Our goal is to stir people up and explain that we must not allow ourselves to be deprived of active suffrage. If you have it, then you should use it. Whom these people will vote for is the second question, the main thing is that they do not ignore any elections, even municipal ones.
We use the tactics of "five touches", that is, five interactions with our potential voter. The first touch is a door-to-door tour with a sociological survey, during which we found out what problems are of interest to local residents. According to the results of a sociological survey, it turned out that people are worried about the availability of medicine: many have to go to the doctor first in one point of the district, then in another, since different specialists are in different places. Now, literally in a week, we will arrange a second door-to-door tour - this time with a petition on medical issues.
We use the tactics of "five touches", that is, five interactions with our potential voter
In parallel, we explore the area and study the courtyards. If there is a problem, we notify potential voters about it on social networks and the Moscow mayor's office through the Our City service, or we write appeals to the department. For example, now the deadlines for laying pipes are delayed. We also plan to hold a garbage collection campaign, during which we will be able to get to know the voters better.
If I manage to win the election, for a start we will finish dealing with the problems on which we have already written appeals. These are, for example, two houses on Second Baumanskaya, which are in disrepair. In a good way, they need to be demolished, and people should be relocated from there. The second "case" is the restoration of the Burdenko hospital, in which the capital collapsed. Then it will be possible to deal with the protection of historical monuments. For the Basmanny district, the issue of their demolition is very acute. In addition, during the door-to-door tour, it turned out that major repairs in houses last forever, and we will fight this. In the previous convocation, Yevgenia Remizova was elected from Yabloko in the second constituency. She calmly solved the related problems.
Now we are working on providing polling stations with our observers. This may somehow deter counterfeiters. It is necessary to orient people so that they come personally to the polling stations and cast their vote. In the same Krasnoselsky district, Ilya Yashin and his supporters received 7 mandates in the 2017 elections.
It is necessary to orient people so that they come personally to the polling stations and cast their vote
I discuss politics with voters. People have such a need, and they themselves ask what we think about it. I honestly answer that we are against what is happening in our country and in Ukraine.
Our team has already faced pressure in this election. Me, Nikita Arkin and Daniil Nesmelov were summoned to the TEC to give an explanation about the illegal campaigning: allegedly we posted it at a time not prescribed by law. Although I know perfectly well that it is My District and United Russia that are engaged in such things. Now Nikita Arkin is serving 5 days for a leaflet with the recognized extremist symbols of "Smart Voting", which he did not even glue. Similarly, there is pressure on Savva Karpov, and Daniil Nesmelov was fired from the school as a teacher-organizer.
The right to participate in elections is given to us every 5 years, and for what reason should we not use it? The position of a municipal deputy is an additional platform from which you can express your views and the opinions of the residents who voted for you. From this point of view, participation in municipal elections is quite timely.
“I decided to move forward when I was fired for an anti-embezzlement picket” - Sergey Melnikov
53 years old, Yabloko, Mitino District, constituency No. 2,
The idea to run as a municipal deputy came to my mind after I was fired for an anti-war picket from my job as the head of the legal department in the “Housing Fund Operations Administration” of the Office of the President. I met activists from the Mitino region who share my oppositional views, and they suggested that I nominate myself.
In Mitino, mostly candidates from United Russia and parliamentary parties - the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and Just Russia - go to the polls. There are a lot of "New People", but we are well aware that this is just a United Russia project. I did not plan to go to the elections from Yabloko, but I realized that I could be removed from the elections due to incorrectly executed signatures. Indeed, in our district, 5 or 6 self-nominated candidates were removed in this way, including the current municipal deputy Nikolai Baladnin. He was the only opposition municipal deputy in our area, and if he was not allowed, then I see our task in picking up this banner.
I am a specialist in the field of housing and communal services, and the direct duties of a municipal deputy are to monitor the improvement in their area. All this is clear and close to me. I have extensive experience in holding general meetings of owners. At such events, around 50 people gather and discuss some pressing issues - for example, overhaul and installation of barriers. It is very similar to community gatherings, and I want to use this experience in my work.
The direct duties of the municipal deputy are to monitor the improvement in their area.
Now we are going through a period of preparation for active agitation. We print flyers and business cards, make banners and write texts for posting on social networks. As soon as we print campaign materials, we will begin to install cubes, hold meetings in the yards and arrange door-to-door tours. There are many environmental activists in our team and we will hold campaigns for the separate collection of garbage: first we will teach you how to sort, and then hand it over.
It may seem that a municipal deputy is too small a position to oppose the arbitrariness of the authorities. However, this is still a public figure, and if he is really busy with his work, then increased attention is riveted to him from the authorities, the council, the prefecture and the press. It is easier for them to convey their position simply because they are public people. The direct duties of the municipal deputy are to monitor the improvement and help residents solve their problems. This implies close enough contact to familiarize people with their views and try to convince them of something.
It is easier for municipal deputies to convey their position simply because they are public people
To some extent, I am prepared for the fact that I can become a victim of criminal prosecution. But if everyone sits and is silent, then eventually violence and evil will come to every home. Despite all the repressions and attempts to depoliticize people, we need to unite, look for like-minded people and show by our own example that there are many people around who share democratic convictions.
“I am talking to voters not about Ukraine, but about ramps and bike paths” — Daria Fedotova
35 years old, self-nominated, Vostochnoye Izmailovo District
I am a manager of cultural and urban projects. I have a lot of different activist experience and it can be summarized as urban activism - the creation in the city of things that I lack. When I was worried about the landscaping situation, I organized tree planting campaigns. I was worried about the issue of separate collection of waste - I organized appropriate actions.
The VyDvizhenie platform helped me a lot in terms of legal subtleties - how to fill out an application or collect signatures. I can't imagine how a person running for municipal deputies can independently collect and correctly submit all the documents the first time. Another unexpected bonus is the acquaintance and exchange of experience with candidates from other districts.
Now we are doing door-to-door tours together with Lilia Gaifullina, she is also a candidate for the municipal deputies of East Izmailovo. We come to people, communicate, talk about ourselves and the municipal elections. Very few people know that they will take place on September 11: although there is little more than a month left, there are still no posters or any other information.
Our main competitor is not even the mayor's office or United Russia, but depoliticization, a sense of apathy and disappointment, disbelief that something depends on people. Many people close the door when they hear the words “candidate”, “elections”, “politics”. These topics have already become so discredited that it is very difficult to convince many times disappointed people by telling them how independent candidates won municipal elections.
Our main competitor is depoliticization, a sense of apathy and disillusionment
First of all, I want the council of deputies to be an open structure. Make it so that residents can come to its meetings and speak out, and change the very system of self-government. I am absolutely not satisfied with the fact that the district self-government is reduced to a council of ten people, elected for a period of 5 years. What do the other 40,000 people do? It is necessary that people participate in the management of the district through various structures, public associations, working groups and other councils.
I'm going to work on creating an accessible environment in the area. For example, in very many houses, there is no ramp. I would like the area to have an environment that is interesting for teenagers. Most often they are left to themselves: the playgrounds are aimed at children up to 10-11 years old, and there is nothing for those who are older. We also need a structure for cyclists.
This is not within the authority of the municipal deputy, but I would like a public cultural center to appear in our area. Now there are not even budgetary cultural institutions. There was a Pervomaisky cinema, but it was closed and may be turned into a shopping center. I want to see our area as a place that is comfortable for all social groups. A place where everyone feels needed and included in the management of the area and where there is everything for the normal daily life of any person.
Door-to-door is the main method of finding people because there are very few communities in our area. People are divided and you can get to know a person only by coming to his home. I don't talk to voters about Ukraine. We usually talk about the district agenda and what we can influence within the powers of a municipal deputy. In order to return people's interest in politics, it must be brought closer to them as much as possible. It is important that they understand that it is directly about their streets, boulevards and parks. Seeing that the same ordinary residents of their area were able to win the municipal elections, they too can begin to get involved in politics and participate in some initiatives.
People are very divided and you can get to know a person only by coming to his house
I have no concerns about my participation in the election campaign. The maximum pressure from the authorities that I faced was the fight against our agitation. We hang posters, and the next day or even half an hour later they are torn down. But other candidates and current municipal deputies told me that I would have to face this problem.
If such attention is riveted to the municipal elections and the authorities are trying to oppose the candidates, it means that it makes sense to participate in them. It is more dangerous to sit back and not participate in anything. Now we need to make a choice in favor of returning people's voice.