Campaign diary

Navalny explains why he’s better than Putin

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Alexei Navalny shows how Putin and Tambov Oblast governor Alexander Nikitin control the regional electricity company

by Sarah Hurst

Alexei Navalny released a three-minute video today called “Why I’m better than Putin”. He focuses on the exorbitant price of electricity and takes Tambov Oblast as an example because four of his top campaigners there were jailed recently. The governor of Tambov Oblast, Alexander Nikitin, is the founder of the state company that provides electricity to the entire region and sets prices, Navalny said.

The prices are based on the company’s income and expenditures, it claims, but Navalny pointed out that a few days ago the company’s website reported the purchase of a car for 12 million roubles ($201,300). The description of the car’s features matched that of a Mercedes S 560 4MATIC, Navalny said. “It’s 12 million roubles, but for that you get a luxury hotel on wheels,” he added. The car includes massage seats and individual entertainment systems in the back.

“That’s the difference between me and Putin,” Navalny said. “I wrote a draft law banning state officials from buying cars costing more than 1.5 million roubles back in 2012 and collected signatures for it, but Putin refused to allow the Duma to pass it,” he continued. “I wrote a draft law on transparency and auditing of housing and electricity prices back in 2012, but Putin and United Russia don’t want to pass it,” he said.

“I’m better than Putin because I want to free you from this and save your money,” Navalny concluded. “Putin is worse than me because he wants you buy a Mercedes for officials for 12 million roubles with your electricity payment,” he said.

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