"I'll get rid of your rats" may be an unusual campaign slogan, but Leopold Valeryanovich is an unusual candidate: He's a cat.
Ahead of parliamentary elections and local balloting across Russia on September 17-19, voters in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk were surprised by a campaign stand set up on a downtown square urging them to cast ballots for the feline.
The campaign was announced on Facebook by local historian and activist Andrei Pozdnyakov, who reported: "The first supporters have already appeared for the cat-candidate, whose representatives are shamelessly bribing voters with bonbons."
Leopold Valeryanovich, a gray longhair with an angry expression, is apparently named after Kot Leopold, a popular Soviet-era cartoon cat whose tagline was "Let's all get along."
His patronymic, based on the name Valeryan, is reminiscent of a common Russian natural sedative called valeryanka, which is a treatment for insomnia, anxiety, and nervous exhaustion -- catnip for people, in a way.
It was not clear if the pictured cat was a Siberian cat, a natural breed from Siberia that is Russia's national cat.