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Mayoral Candidates Spar Over Apartment Raid

The mayoral race heated up at the second televised debate as Alexei Navalny took fellow candidate Nikolai Levichev to task for summoning the police and standing by while they raided Navalny supporters' apartment on Tuesday evening.

Moskva 24 host Dmitry Shchugorev began Wednesday's debate with a question about Moscow's paid parking system, but Navalny instead brought up how authorities intimidated his supporters and broke down their door.

Liberal Democratic Party candidate Mikhail Degtyarev said at the debate, "Thank God, Nikolai Levichev came without his buzz saw."

Levichev, the Just Russia candidate, said that the fight with "illegal literature" justifies his methods. Two tons of Navalny campaign material were discovered at the scene, exceeding the officially permitted quantity, RIA-Novosti reported.

Navalny's staff has said that the young men belong to the group Brothers of Navalny, which has no official relation to the campaign.

Four men were arrested after the police broke into the apartment, with two sentenced to 10 days in prison for disobeying police orders and the other two fined 1,000 rubles ($30) for the same offense, detention monitoring site reported.

Navalny claimed that the affair is the authorities' response to his highly publicized investigation into expensive apartments owned by the two young daughters of acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who is running to retain his position.

Anna Veduta, Navalny's press secretary, tweeted a picture of Navalny handing Levichev a shirt with the words "Daughter of Sobyanin."

According to the most recent election forecasts from VTsIOM, Sobyanin is expected to win the mayoral race with 67 percent of the vote. The public opinion research center predicts Navalny will finish second with 13 percent and the other candidates will each earn 6.5 percent or less.

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