All the local television and radio channels have refused to run paid ads or to cover campaign events. Instead, local news programming features happy meetings between acting Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov, Unified Russia’s candidate, and grateful locals.
The five opposition candidates in the race are reduced to running the old-fashioned way: by getting out into the streets and talking to voters face to face or at small, spontaneous meetings.
The photo above, provided by the campaign of former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, shows a handwritten sign tacked to a tree. It announces that Nemtsov will be meeting with voters on this spot at 12 noon on April 12.
-- Robert Coalson