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86 Former Russian Deputies Refuse to Leave Kremlin-Paid Apartments

The block of flats, located on Olof Palme Street in downtown Moscow, was built to provide accommodation for State Duma deputies, many of whom do not appear to be residents of the capital. Lyudmila Pakhomova / TASS

More than 80 Russian deputies who lost their seats in Russia’s September parliamentary elections are still living in government-provided accommodations, the RBC news outlet reported Tuesday.

The 86 former deputies were legally required to move out of their apartments on Moscow’s prestigious Ulitsa Ulofa Palme before Dec. 4. However, many of the parliamentarians have delayed moving due to concerns related to their children’s schooling, leaving just 68 apartments free for new deputies. A formal eviction could take up to a year, RBC reported.

New deputies from outside of Moscow are currently living in hotels in the capital, including the Marriott hotel near the Russian Duma and the hotel Metropol close to the Bolshoi Theater.

A standard room in the Marriott Grand in the first half of December costs 14,000 rubles ($220) a night, while a suite costs closer to 60,000 rubles ($941). A standard room at the Metropol costs 21,000 rubles ($329) a night, with an executive suite costing roughly 52,000 rubles ($816).

The Russian Duma is currently meeting all costs for the deputies, who are unlikely to move into government flats before 2017, RBC reported.

The Duma recently purchased a number of apartments in a housing complex on the Varshavskoe highway for elected officials, but the new housing will not meet demand on its own.

The new apartments have also reportedly been rejected by a few of the deputies, who prize the housing on Ulitsa Ulofa Palme for its convenience, size, and “prestige,” RBC reported.

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