Moscow’s municipal deputy candidates have started simultaneously receiving phone calls from people who introduced themselves as journalists of Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Novaya Gazeta, Polit.ru, and other media outlets, reports the Rain outlet, citing a Yabloko party member Kirill Goncharov.
According to Goncharov, the politicians were being asked about their views on the war in Ukraine and the Smart Voting system introduced by Navalny’s team.
“There are around 30 candidates from different districts [who have received these calls] at the same time. Furthermore, [the callers] introduced themselves using fake names of journalists that don’t work in these media outlets,” Goncharov said.
The fact that these people had been scammers was discovered in a group chat [of the candidates], seeing as the calls had started coming in at the same time. Additionally, the callers used “weird phone numbers”, and the calls are still coming in, Goncharov clarified.
He turned to the editorial office of Nezavisimaya Gazeta and learned that there was no journalist under the name that the person that had called him used. The candidates checked the names of the other callers through Google — to realise that there were no journalists with such names.
“Clearly, the goal was to make the candidates [say something] that could be used to open criminal investigations against them, or at least to intimidate them,” Goncharov wrote in a post on his Telegram channel.
On 11 September, Single Voting Day will be held in Russia. In 15 Russian regions, the governors will be elected, in six regions — deputies of regional parliaments, in 11 regional capitals — deputies of local authorities.