July 30, 2021

The False Borises


The False Borises
Just imagine thousands of little Boris Vishnevskys crawling around this building. Wikimedia Commons, Godot13.

St. Petersburg voters in an upcoming election will have three Boris Vishnevskys to pick from: one "original" and two fakes.

Boris Lazarevich Vishnevsky, a civil servant and member of the liberal opposition Yabloko party, is running for a deputy position in the Northern Capital's legislative assembly. Alongside him are two new, inauthentic candidates sporting the same name.

Reportedly, the two other candidates deliberately and legally changed their names within the last year, while keeping their patronymics (the middle "son of" names): Viktor Ivanovich Bykov is now Boris Ivanovich Vishnevsky, and Alexei Gennadievich Shmelev is now Boris Gennadievich Vishnevksy. One of the spoilers is already registered as a self-nominated candidate with the electoral commission; the other is in the process of doing so.

As a response that nodded to the location of City Hall, the real Boris Vishnevsky tweeted, "How scary Smolny is!"

Fortunately, faking your identity for political gain is much less deadly today than it used to be.

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