Russian opposition parties who have joined forces against the Kremlin have outlined their agenda for regional elections later this year, ahead of a parliamentary vote in 2016.
The Party of Progress led by Alexei Navalny, and RPR-Parnas which was co-founded by the murdered dissident Boris Nemtsov, announced a few days ago that they were forming a united front.
Navalny said opposition groups were determined to fight for a “new Russia”. Opinion polls, he argued, showed a huge number of people were dissatisfied with what was happening.
“Of course, we realise that there will be a major, serious level of counter-action because we have every chance (to win the elections). It is very important for us to overcome these barriers and show that for the first time in 13 years the coalition has arrived and started to break through the barriers and achieve political representation,” Navalny told a news conference.
Nemtsov’s murder outside the Kremlin drew large protests.
Other opposition figures have been convicted on charges they denounce as political; some have been forced into exile.
The new alliance needs to show that unlike in the past, the Kremlin’s opponents can work together.