×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

United Russia Purged Ads, Prokhorov Says

Right Cause's billionaire leader Mikhail Prokhorov accused United Russia officials on Tuesday of orchestrating the removal of more than 200 billboards bearing his portrait in three cities.

Campaign advertising for the State Duma elections in December is not allowed until the fall, but Prokhorov has financed hundreds of billboards, nominally to promote his web site, made-in-russia.ru.

Fifty billboards were taken down by local authorities in Yekaterinburg last week, and another 180 in Novosibirsk, Prokhorov wrote on his blog. This week, the removals reached Moscow, where two billboards were taken down, a Right Cause spokesman said Tuesday.

The street advertising company that handled installation and removal of billboards has provided no explanation for the move and may face "economic sanctions" if it fails to do so, the spokesman told Interfax.

Prokhorov blamed the removal on local authorities loyal to the ruling United Russia party. "They're afraid we'll not let United Russia get its planned percent" of votes in the elections, he said, adding that his party would fight back in courts and media.

Prokhorov became the leader of Right Cause in June and has promised to give the party, widely seen as a Kremlin project to sweep liberal voters, the second-biggest faction in the new Duma with 15 percent of the vote.

His unceremonious campaigning may indeed have irked United Russia, which is starting to see Right Cause as a serious rival, not a "friendly spoiler," said Alexei Makarkin, an analyst with the Center for Political Technologies.

"United Russia would like him to speak about an increase in working hours and deference to company bosses, but he has started to touch on other topics," Makarkin said by telephone.

Prokhorov, roundly criticized by ordinary Russians last year for proposals to tighten labor legislation in favor of employers, has cautiously courted moderate nationalists lately. Although he has denied giving the party a patriotic slant, he got self-professed nationalist Yevgeny Roizman, a noted anti-drug activist, to join Right Cause last month.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more