Thursday, August 17, 2017

Yekaterinburg Mayor Roizman denies involvement with anti-Putin movement

In recent interviews, Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman has categorically denied claims that he is a part of the growing anti-Putin political movement in Russia.

Roizman describes the opposition as, "those who strive for power, those who want to overthrow the regime", according to The Guardian. "I just want to live in a normal country. I'm ready to work with any regime as those in power aren't cannibals."

The belief that Yekaterinburg's newest mayor represents a political shift against President Putin has much to do with his surprising triumph against his opponent, Yakov Silin, who received strong support by Putin and the state-run media. Many Russian political analysts believe Roizman's success signals a new policy in the Kremlin, allowing Putin's critics to run in local and regional races.

Roizman said, however, that his success in Yekaterinburg's mayoral race has less to do with a downward shift in the public's opinion of Putin and more to do with Roizman's own accomplishments as an anti-drug figure in the Urals, The Guardian reports.

In 1999, Roizman helped found the City Without Drugs foundation in hopes of countering Yekaterinburg's then-growing heroin problem. While City Without Drugs' methods have been the source of controversy since the foundation's opening, the program continues to receive praise for its effectiveness of treating and curing drug addiction.