The article analyses how the electoral policy of the Russian state predetermined the results of the 2016 State Duma elections. The factors leading to this predictability are described in detail. These were a combination of the introduction of a mixed electoral system, with the party of power winning in more than 90% of majoritarian districts in regional elections; gerrymandering during the establishment of electoral districts; changes to the system by which voters outside the borders of the Russian Federation were allocated to electoral districts; the change of election date (moving it to September) and the consequent reduced turnout in the cities more prone to protest votes; “rigged campaigns” and the systemic opposition’s unreadiness for serious disputation; new bans and restrictions on political competition, resulting parties and candidates capable of genuinely opposing the regime being denied access to the elections; a push among protest voters to boycott the election, de facto supported by the regime’s campaign managers; and weak campaigns by the democratic parties.
This article examines the outcomes of renewal of personnel in the Russian regional authorities during different stages of their development: 1991–1995 (primarily assigned based on elections in individual regions), 1995–2005 (the period of mass direct elections), 2005–2012 (a system of appointment based on the president’s nomination), and 2012–2018 (elections via a municipal filter). It attempts to aggregate and analyse the instances where the heads of regional authorities were elected (or appointed) despite having no previous relationship to those regions (outsider politicians). It offers a classification system for these outsiders, distinguishing “pure outsiders”, “returnees”, “adapted outsiders”, “naturalised outsiders” and “federalised locals”.