September’s Moscow mayoral elections were designed to reelect Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who is credited with funneling massive funding into the city’s parks, sidewalks and squares, while at the same time shrinking its protected nature zones and tolerating zero criticism of his policies.
Though no true opposition candidates were allowed to run in the election, city hall has backed a massive reelection campaign, including on the internet.
In that realm, ever-acerbic Muscovites have accused the mayor of paying celebrities to extol the capital’s beauty on Instagram, often using boilerplate language.
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