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  2. "There must be sane people in the State Duma at some point." The Stop-Shies Coalition announced its intention to participate in the parliamentary elections

"There must be sane people in the State Duma at some point." The Stop-Shies Coalition announced its intention to participate in the parliamentary elections

Elena Zholobova
Rally against the landfill at Shies. Kotlas, March 15, 2020
Photo by Dmitry Stepanovsky
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The Stop-Shies Interregional Environmental Coalition is going to nominate its candidates for the upcoming elections for the State Duma. The activists have made this decision at the coalition’s congress, which was held online on May 7. The coalition’s spokesperson Dmitry Sekushin reported this to 7x7.

Stop-Shies does not mention the names of possible candidates and even their number yet, explaining this with safety considerations. As Dmitry Sekushin explained, the public movements that are involved in the coalition will come up with their candidates before May 11, and then the coalition is going to hold an advance poll and coordinate the candidates with the political parties from which the activists plan to nominate.

When asked why the coalition decided to nominate its candidates for the Russian parliament, Sekushin said: "There must be sane people in the State Duma at some point."

Earlier, mass media reported that Oleg Mandrykin, one of the leaders of the Stop-Shies Coalition and an ex-candidate for governor of Arkhangelsk Oblast who was removed from the elections at the municipal filter stage, will be nominated to the State Duma from the Yabloko Party. In an interview with 7x7, Mandrykin himself called such reports premature and said that the coalition got all matters through by voting, which had just begun.

"Parties can nominate candidates at their congresses, or candidates can nominate themselves as self-nominees through the collection of signatures. The coalition can only propose candidates or support someone. But I did not say that the coalition would support me [in the elections] to the State Duma. It is unethical to talk about this before there is the congress's decision and the vote in the coalition," he added.

Олег Мандрыкин

Oleg Mandrykin. Photo by Ivan Mityushev

On the night of May 6, on the eve of the Stop-Shies Coalition’s congress, criminal investigation officers stopped Oleg Mandrykin's car at a hotel in Velsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast. According to the activist, the police told him that they had an "all-points bulletin" on his car and that it was allegedly carrying extremist literature and prohibited items. The security forces searched Mandrykin's personal belongings and car in the presence of witnesses and activists, found nothing, then drew up a protocol, apologized, and left.

In 2019, about 30 environmental public associations from Arkhangelsk and Vologda Oblasts and the Komi Republic formed the Stop-Shies Coalition to prevent the construction of a landfill for waste import from Moscow at the Shies station. After the landfill investor decided to close the project, the coalition continues to deal with environmental issues in the Russian North.

In 2020, Oleg Mandrykin was nominated for the gubernatorial elections in Arkhangelsk Oblast from the Yabloko Party, but did not pass the municipal filter. The regional election committee refused to register the environmental activist, referring to shortcomings in filling out signature sheets by municipal deputies who had previously signed for another candidate.


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