The leaders of United Russia, the party that has dominated national politics since it was founded roughly two decades ago, fully expect to lose seats in next year’s parliamentary elections, but they have a plan to maintain their constitutional majority in the State Duma, according to campaign documents obtained by Meduza. In the 2021 races, Russia’s “party of power” intends to nominate “specialists in socially significant or socially approved spheres of activity,” and it’s looking for ways to beat “Smart Vote,” the strategic voting initiative spearheaded by opposition figure Alexey Navalny’s team.
Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who expressed racist views and support for QAnon conspiracy theories in a series of online videos, has won a US House seat representing north-west Georgia.
Her candidacy was bolstered by President Donald Trump, who has called her a “future Republican star”.
Ms Greene was heavily favoured in the conservative district even before Democratic challenger Kevin Van Ausdal suddenly dropped out in September, saying he was moving out of state.
Ms Greene is a businesswoman and political newcomer who has gained large followings on social media, in part by posting incendiary videos and comments.
Ms Greene has claimed in online videos that Black and Hispanic men are being held back by “gangs and dealing drugs”, alleged an “Islamic invasion” of Government offices, and accused Jewish billionaire George Soros of collaborating with Nazis.
She has also embraced QAnon, a far-right US conspiracy theory centred around the debunked belief that Mr Trump is fighting a secret campaign against “deep state” enemies and a child sex trafficking ring of satanic paedophiles and cannibals.
In more recent videos and posts, she has attacked everything from the Black Lives Matter movement to the use of face masks to protect against coronavirus.
After some of her comments came to light, Ms Greene was condemned by some future House colleagues within her own party, but many other Republicans, including Mr Trump and Republican senator Kelly Loeffler, have embraced her.
She had a blunt message for her detractors in a speech after winning a Republican primary run-off in August: “I will not apologise.”
The President took to Twitter then to congratulate Ms Greene.
“Congratulations to future Republican Star Marjorie Taylor Greene on a big Congressional primary win in Georgia against a very tough and smart opponent,” Mr Trump tweeted after her primary win.
Ms Greene initially started campaigning for a different House seat, challenging Democratic representative Lucy McBath in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, made up of suburbs north of Atlanta.
She switched to the more conservative 14th District after Republican Tom Graves announced he was not seeking re-election.
Democrats were unable to replace Mr Van Ausdal on the ballot because he dropped out too close to the election, leaving Ms Greene essentially unopposed in the race.
The seat has been open since Mr Graves stepped down in October.