UPDATED 3:43 PM PT – Sunday, September 5, 2021
Opposition candidates in Russia’s upcoming parliamentary elections have ramped up media outreach ahead of election days. In a news conference in Moscow on Saturday, a group of opposition candidates spoke with dozens of journalists from both state and independent media outlets.
The candidates warned the government’s recent restrictions on freedom of the press violated Russia’s constitution. In recent days, the Putin Cabinet designated more than 50 media outlets as “foreign agents.”
Opposition candidates said the decision was aimed at silencing any political dissent.
“Our authorities want to completely wipe out the media sphere,” opposition candidate Nikola Kavkazsky expressed. “Now, the designation of Dozhd, Meduza and other media as ‘foreign agents’ are steps toward establishing a dictatorship that was described by Orwell, with the main slogan being: ‘ignorance is power.’”
— RFE/RL Pressroom (@RFERLPress) September 3, 2021
Russians will head to polls over a three day period due to COVID-19 restrictions, while mail-in voting and early voting are underway. The election is slated for September 17 through September 19.