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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Big Names Ride Fame to Single-Mandate Seats




Boris Berezovsky in, Yelena Baturina out.


While most of the attention Monday was focused on which parties made it into the State Duma, many of the big-name candidates ran in single-mandate districts.


Two of the high-profile winners were Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich, both oil tycoons with connections to the Kremlin. They ran as independents in districts far from home.


Berezovsky won easily over 10 other candidates in the North Caucasus republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia. Abramovich, who reportedly stands behind Sibneft, won in Chukotka.


Another energy sector figure, Former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, whose Our Home Is Russia party did poorly in the polls, is joining the Duma as a representative from Yamalo-Nenets. The remote Siberian region contains the bulk of the natural gas reserves of Gazprom, which he once headed.


Chernomyrdin is one of four former prime ministers to win seats. Sergei Kiriyenko and Yevgeny Primakov got in on party lists, but Sergei Stepashin will represent a single-mandate district in St. Petersburg, even though he was No. 2 on Yabloko's list.


Stepashin's win allows another person on Yabloko's list to get into the Duma. This appears to have been the strategy of other prominent figures, such as Union of Right Forces leaders Irina Khakamada and Boris Nemtsov, and Unity No. 2 Alexander Karelin. All three will represent single-mandate districts.


Other notable winners include Iosif Kobzon, a prominent Soviet-style pop-star who has been accused of links to organized crime, which he denies. He got more than 90 percent of the vote to hold onto his Duma seat in Buryatia.


Another re-elected legislator with a colorful past is Alexander Korzhakov, the former presidential bodyguard who had been linked to the notorious National Sports Fund. He retained his Tula seat.


Nikolai Kovalyov, a former head of the Federal Security Service, a successor to the KGB, who is backed by Fatherland-All Russia, got into the Duma by winning a seat in Moscow.


Former Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov won a close race in Moscow's Universitetsky district, edging out Fatherland-All Russia member Oleg Petrov. He also defeated feminist playwright Maria Arbatova and Duma Deputy Vladimir Semago.


Alexander Shokhin, who headed Our Home Is Russia in the Duma before splitting with the party, won re-election as an independent.


One of the high-profile losers was Baturina, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's wife. She was beat out in Kalmykia by Alexandra Buratayeva, a popular anchor for ORT television and an ethnic Kalmyk put forward by Unity.


Two prominent and occasionally scandalous journalists, Alexander Minkin and Alexander Khinshtein, failed to win seats in Moscow.


The far more scurrilous Alexander Nevzorov, a right-wing muck-raking journalist from St. Petersburg, lost his Duma seat to another incumbent deputy, Yuly Rybakov.


Neither Anatoly Sobchak, former mayor of St. Petersburg, nor his wife, Duma Deputy Lyudmila Narusova, won their races. Sobchak, running as an independent in St. Petersburg's central district, lost a close race against Duma Deputy Pyotr Shelits. Narusova, a member of Our Home Is Russia, lost to Communist Vasily Shandybin in the Kaluga region.


Roman Popkovich, the chairman of the outgoing Duma's defense committee, lost to Martin Shakkum, an obscure candidate in the 1996 presidential election.


A number of prominent Communists won single-mandate races: Anatoly Lukyanov, head of the previous Duma's legislation committee; former Politburo member and hard-line Communist ideologue Yegor Ligachyov; and Yury Maslyukov, who had given up his Duma seat to join Yevgeny Primakov's Cabinet.


The Communists grabbed the highest number of the 250 single-mandate districts with 43. Fatherland-All Russia, third in the party list vote, got 29, while Unity won 10.


Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces won five each. The only other party to make it into the Duma, Zhirinovsky's Bloc, won none.


The winners of the remaining 158 seats either represent minor parties or are listed as independents. How they line up will play a significant role in the formation of the next Duma.


Some of the candidates who run in single-mandate districts as independents actually belong to parties and movements. Others are dependent on the governors in their regions and will likely support the bloc the governor supports.