Not everything appears smooth in the Murmansk United Russia. Photo: Atle Staalesen

Internal conflict in Murmansk elite

The United Russia primaries in Murmansk were marred by internal conflict, a new report claims. At the same time, popular support for the government-loyal party is in sharp decline.
June 09, 2016


A new publication from the Petersburg Politics Fund includes Murmansk as one of the regions with the highest internal conflict level in the local party organization. According to the report, the recent primaries «aggravated the internal conflicts in the regional elite».

The primaries were won by Aleksey Veller, the town mayor of Murmansk, with a convincing 59.2 percent of the votes. However, little is known about the preceding surprise pullout of the vote by Deputy Governor Yevgeny Nikora. According to FlashNord, Nikora withdrew his candidacy after uncompromising information about alleged intimate character leaked to the press.

Nikora, one of the region’s most experienced politicians, on March 1 registered his candidacy in the vote. Only few weeks later he was instead appointed deputy governor in charge of housing, construction and energy. 

About 10,5 percent of the Murmansk regional electorate took part in the 22nd May vote, the local party website informs. The primaries are to determine the regional party candidates for the upcoming State Duma election due 18th September.

In the report by the Petersburg Politics Fund, also the Republic of Karelia is listed among the regions with a high conflict level. According to the authors of the report, the internal tensions in the regional party remains unsolved, but «none of the conflicts surfaced to the public in connection with the vote». The regional party vote was won by longtime State Duma deputy Valentina Pivnenko. Turnout in the region was 5,9 percent, the local United Russia party website informs.

Meanwhile, in both Komi Republic and Arkhangelsk Oblast the primaries resulted in «unexpected victories», the report reads. 

In Komi, the primaries were won by leader of the regional All-Russian People’s Front Olga Savastyanova with 58,3 percent of the votes. In Arkhangelsk Oblast, the vote was won by Andrey Palkin and Dmitry Yurkov. A party session later this month is to determine which of the two candidates is to become the local party’s man for the State Duma election. 


Turnout in the two regions was 5 percent and 2,7 percent respectively, the regional United Russia websites inform.

United Russia has a solid majority in the current State Duma. However, new polls indicate a rapidly decline in support. According to the Levada Center, 35 percent of respondents now say they will vote for the party, down from 42 percent in April this year.


Aleksey Veller is Murmansk United Russia’s candidate for the State Duma elections. Photo:



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