A party led by billionaire politician Gleb Fetisov is using an ongoing competition to design an emblem capturing the essence of the Moscow region to take a dig at the ruling United Russia party.
The emblem designed by the Green Alliance — People's Party portrays United Russia as a malevolent bear and highlights social issues that the party has failed to tackle.
Fetisov handed the party's emblem design to the Moscow region's culture department on Tuesday. He intends to run for governor in an election against Andrei Vorobyov, acting governor and a United Russia heavyweight, later this year.
"Of course, we realize that the regional government will be afraid to place this symbol on official forms, let alone put it up for a popular vote," Fetisov said in an e-mailed statement.
The party said it chose to portray United Russia as a bear to reference its opponent's party symbol and that the gold chain around its neck suggests the party's ties with the mob, according to the statement.
The saw in the bear's paw signifies United Russia's disrespect for nature, the statement said.
On the watch of the previous United Russia governor, authorities started building a Moscow-St. Petersburg highway through the Khimki Forest amid protests from environmentalists.
Other key aspects of the emblem include a blue flashing light, symbolizing the driving privileges enjoyed by top officials, roads riddled with pot holes and bland apartment buildings. Labor migrants from Central Asia and a frieze of 5,000 ruble ($160) notes, a reference to corrupt officialdom, frame the design.
"At a time when an alternative point of view doesn't appear in regional mass media, we consider it our duty to use this emblem as a way of drawing attention to problems," Fetisov said.