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Russia’s Opposition, Barred From Moscow Vote, Looks Elsewhere for Gains

Putin’s opponents hope a wave of dissent will carry them past a crackdown and their own discord

By Thomas Grove and Ann M. Simmons

Updated Sept. 6, 2019 9:02 am ET

But city elections like the centerpiece ballot in Moscow are being pushed off limits for the opposition as the Kremlin addresses this chink in its armor.
“Even that vulnerability must be closed,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder and CEO of political analysis firm R. Politik.

Sergei Chemezov, the head of arms conglomerate Rostec who worked alongside Mr. Putin in the KGB in East Germany, recently spoke in defense of the opposition in a leading Russian media outlet. His remarks prompted opposition leaders and Russia-watchers to wonder how high support for the protests goes.

“We see there is some internal resistance including among figures who are close to Putin,” said Ms. Stanovaya at R. Politik.

“The regime is weakening and the nonsystemic opposition will grow stronger,” she said, referring to opposition forces that operate outside of politics. “People are taking that into account.”

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