Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 86

Supporters of the incumbent mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, have submitted the requisite 70,000 signatures for his official registration as a candidate in the mayoral elections to be held on June 16. (Interfax, April 29) Meanwhile, elections are in full swing in Russia’s second city, St. Petersburg, where 18 candidates will run for the post of city governor May 19. Incumbent mayor Anatoly Sobchak is supported by an estimated 30 percent of voters. (Luzhkov is estimated to have 70 percent support.) Sobchak is being challenged by a popular figure from the democratic movement, Yuri Boldyrev; by the first deputy mayor of the city, Vyacheslav Shcherbakov; and by the governor of the surrounding Leningrad oblast, Aleksandr Belyakov.

Interviewed by NTV April 26, Sobchak admitted that rivalry exists between his city and the capital. So far, Moscow seems to be winning. It gets the lion’s share of foreign investment: in the first nine months of last year, over 50 percent of foreign investment in Russia as a whole went to Moscow, while 2.4 percent went to Petersburg. (The Economist, April 20) Sobchak hinted darkly that the "hand of Moscow" was behind the decision of his own first deputy to challenge him for the governorship, but placed the conflict in the context of Russia’s center-periphery struggle. "Now that Russia is building a truly federal state, battle has been joined between the traditions of the unitary state and the desire of the regions for independence," he said. (NTV, April 26)

Leftists in Post-Soviet Countries Rally on May Day.