Vladimir Putin’s party just lost an election — even after blocking opponents from the ballot

By Vladimir Kara-Murza MOSCOW — It is difficult to challenge an authoritarian system through an election it fully controls. Yet Muscovites managed to do just that on Sunday, sharply reducing the presence of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party...

Vladimir Putin’s party just lost an election — even after blocking opponents from the ballot
By Vladimir Kara-Murza MOSCOW — It is difficult to challenge an authoritarian system through an election it fully controls. Yet Muscovites managed to do just that on Sunday, sharply reducing the presence of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party in the city legislature; sending many of its top candidates to humiliating defeats; and delivering the biggest electoral shock in the Russian capital since the Democratic Russia bloc wiped out the Communist Party in the 1990 city council election. And the opposition pulled this off even though most of its candidates had been blocked from the ballot and could only contribute to the campaign through messages passed from their jail cells.