Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

Nizhny Mayor Ousted

The Nizhny Novgorod city legislature elected local businessman Oleg Sorokin as mayor on Monday after incumbent Vadim Bulavinov removed his candidacy, conceding defeat in a political battle with the regional governor, who did not approve his reappointment.

Bulavinov, who became mayor in 2002 and won re-election in 2005, supported the abolishment of direct mayoral elections last year.

Sorokin, a reported protege of Governor Valery Shantsev, will split governing duties with a city manager, who will be hired at a public tender in the coming weeks.

Shantsev and Bulavinov are both members of United Russia, which controls the city legislature.

“This shows again that United Russia is not a strong party worth anything because a battle is going between its own rank and file,” said Alexander Kynev, a regional politics expert at the Foundation for Information Policy Development, a think tank.

“While we don't have free elections anymore, Bulavinov has lost a battle in government infighting,” Kynev said by telephone.

He added that Bulavinov, who is popular with Nizhny Novgorod residents, made a crucial mistake when he supported the ban on direct mayoral elections.

Sorokin, a real estate developer who survived an attempt on his life by a local lawmaker, Alexander Dikin, in 2007, has regularly clashed with Bulavinov's administration in the past, accusing City Hall of creating a poor business environment in Nizhny Novgorod.

Read more

Russia media is under attack.

At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times needs your help more than ever as we cover this devastating invasion and its sweeping impacts on Russian society.