Whether one thinks he's Russia's greatest hope or the most dangerous man in the country, blogger and activist Aleksei Navalny
has dominated the conversation surrounding Moscow's upcoming mayoral election on September 8.
But he's just one part of a bigger story.
To analyze the players, the playing field, and the political stakes, RFE/RL and its Russian Service, Radio Svoboda
, hosted a live discussion direct from Moscow with a diverse group of journalists, Russian activists, and election watchers.
WATCH: Election roundtable on Google+ Hangout
Participating in the discussion were:
-- Radio Svoboda senior correspondent and host of "Face to Events."
-- RFE/RL senior correspondent with expertise in Russian politics.
-- a political activist, entrepreneur, journalist, and blogger
(also at ruconomics.com
with Mikhail Dubov) has written for "Bolshoi Gorod" and "Snob." Faibisovich is a 2008 graduate of the London School of Economics and lives in Moscow.
-- serving on the Federal Council of the Russian United Democratic Party Yabloko, which is represented in the mayoral race by Sergei Mitrokhin. A member of Yabloko since 2005, Vlasova was elected as the youngest-ever member of the party's governing body at its 15th congress in 2008.
-- a member of the board of the Interregional Public Observers Movement Sonar
, which carries out independent election observation by volunteers in many parts of Russia. A linguist by training who studied in the United States, Feigina served as a volunteer observer in Moscow for the March 2012 Russian presidential election.
-- a historian, co-chair of the liberal democratic Republican Party of Russia -- People's Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS), and former Russian State Duma deputy.