The acting governors from the republic of Marii-El, republic of Udmurtia, and the Kirov, Ryazan, Saratov, Novgorod and Kaliningrad regions are named as benefitting from positive media stories. In addition to the seven gubernatorial candidates, the report highlights potential campaign law violations by candidates standing in local legislative elections.

Such expansive media coverage constitutes election campaigning and “seriously discredits” voting as an institution, argues Golos regional network coordinator Vitaly Averin.

While media campaigning is cited as the most common violation of federal election law, acting governors also benefit from the use of state and municipal property, according to Averin, RBC reports. However, such violations are impossible to prove, Averin emphasizes.