Peter Miloserdov, a municipal candidate in the Lomonoskovsky region of Moscow and an organizer of the Our City project, which promotes independent candidates in local Moscow elections, said two men approached him and an associate outside an apartment building on Prospekt Vernadskogo, offering them money to cease distribution of a campaign newspaper. After they refused, four other men standing nearby attacked him.
Local police told Interfax that video footage from the site of the alleged attack did not confirm Miloserdov's story. Miloserdov said he called an ambulance to take him to a hospital following the attack.
Municipal elections are being held across the country Sunday along with the presidential vote. In Moscow, 4,183 candidates are running for 1,560 deputy jobs.
Just like independent candidates in the presidential vote, municipal candidates must collect signatures to gain a spot on the ballot — although instead of the 2 million required to run for president, in Moscow the required number for those in local races ranged from 10 to 70, Kommersant reported.
In Moscow, many United Russia members are running as independents, apparently in an attempt to avoid association with the tarnished reputation applied to the ruling party by the opposition, which calls it the "Party of Crooks and Thieves."