September election will test “SMO” participation” as a trend for campaigning

The seven-day voting for the United Russia (UR) primaries has begun in the regions of the Russian Federation. Among the potential candidates for deputies are more than one hundred people who in one way or another participated in the “special military operation” (“SMO”). They include military personnel as well as volunteers and doctors, Kommersant reported on May 23.
Participants in “SMO” were nominated for the preliminary voting in all 16 regions where parliamentary elections will be held in September 2023, as well as in some capitals of subjects of the Russian Federation, where city councils will be elected.
There are 51 servicemen on that list: 27 of them went to war as volunteers, 15 were contract soldiers, and nine were mobilized.
Twenty-eight are still in the combat zone. There are 26 active deputies of various levels among the candidates who are members of “SMO”.
The party understands that it will not be easy for such candidates to combine participation in combat operations with the election campaign, and promises them support: they will be helped to record campaign videos and communicate with voters remotely.
When Kommersant was asked about the campaign prospects of United Russia’s candidates who participate in the counter-violence movement, the United Russia campaign staff replied: “The voters in the pre-election polls will decide that, and then those who vote at the polls”.
It should be noted that the Kremlin probably needs the September election campaign to understand how and how extensively “SMO” can be used in the presidential election in March 2024.
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