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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Oct 11, 2010

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TODAY: United Russia wins regional elections; new Moscow mayoral candidates announced; sanctioned Moscow rally in support of anti-Kremlin coalition proceeds without arrests; Luzhkov to form opposition movement? Forest fire death statistics, hackers jailed.
Opposition leaders heavily criticized this weekend’s elections both before and after they had begun, making allegations of ballot-stuffing and arbitrary appointments.  The Moscow Times reports an ‘unexpectedly high turnout‘ and election-related violence in Dagestan as almost 100,000 law enforcement officers were deployed to ensure security.  Early results show that United Russia ‘triumphed easily‘, and reveal ‘almost no support for parties not already in the State Duma‘.  Opposition results include 17% for A Just Russia and 26% for the Communist Party in Novosibirsk, according to RIA Novosti.  Dmitry Azarov, a United Russia party member running as an opposition candidate, appears to have won the mayoral position in Samara.  A sanctioned rally on Saturday that drew 1,000-1,500 people (depending on your source) resulted in no arrests, says RFE/RL.  The gathering was held in support of an anti-Kremlin coalition, says the Moscow Times, that hopes to challenge United Russia at the 2012 presidential elections.

United Russia have published their list of the four Moscow Mayor candidates that they will choose from over the next ten days, although speculation suggests that Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin is the one most likely to be appointed.  RIA Novosti has biographical background on all four of them here.  In the meantime, acting Mayor Vladimir Resin is forming a joint council to preserve historic buildings, in contrast with former Mayor Yury Luzkhov who apparently ‘ignored the concerns‘ of preservationists.  Is Luzkhov plotting an opposition movement?
The refusal to sell S-300s to Iran is Russia’s $800 million membership dues in the exclusive club of the West.‘  The state statistics office has published its death rates for the period during the forest fires, revealing a rise of at least a quarter for August, year-on-year.  Two of the Russian students arrested in the US on suspicion of hacking have been jailed (each for under a year). 
PHOTO: People rallying Saturday on Bolotnaya Ploshchad in support of For a Russia Without Arbitrariness and Corruption. (Andrey Rudakov / Reuters)