Support The Moscow Times!

Putin Signs Law Allowing Him to Pick Governors

President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Tuesday letting him pick candidates to lead the country's regions if local lawmakers scrap popular polls, in what critics called a setback for democracy in the Putin's new term.

The law allows each of the country's 83 regions to repeal direct elections of governors, introduced just last year in a concession during a wave of protests by Russians fed up with Putin's dominance and demanding a stronger political voice.

Putin has said the law is needed to protect the rights of minorities in ethnically mixed regions such as the mostly Muslim provinces of the insurgency-plagued North Caucasus.

The Kremlin is concerned that direct elections in the volatile regions could spark unrest or involve candidates whose loyalty is in question.

(Reuters)

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.