Russia's opposition scored a decisive victory this week in Yaroslavl's mayoral election when maverick city-council deputy Yevgeny Urlashov won nearly 70 percent of the vote, crushing United Russia-backed candidate.
The electoral uprising in Yaroslavl came hot on the heels of a string of victories for opposition candidates in the regions, including mayoral elections in the auto-making city of Tolyatti and in the town of Chernogolovka in Moscow Oblast. It also came after opposition candidates won a third of the open seats in elections to district councils in Moscow.
Urlashov was supported by a broad coalition of parties, including the Communists, the liberal Yabloko, and the center-left A Just Russia. He also had the backing of billionaire oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov, as well as the civic organization Democratic Choice.
The opposition clearly sees the result as a sign of things to come. Opposition figure Vladimir Milov recently wrote on his blog that “The road to the Kremlin runs through Yaroslavl.”
In this week's edition of The Power Vertical Podcast, I sat down with Kirill Kobrin, managing editor of RFE/RL's Russian Service, to discuss the electoral rebellion sweeping Russia's regions.
Also on the podcast, we take a look at recent controversies surrounding the Russian Orthodox Church.
Listen to or download the podcast above, or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.