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Russian opposition activist to run in mayoral race

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Sept. 10, 2012, 8:31 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Yevgeniya Chirikova gained fame several years ago by leading a campaign to save a forest in the Moscow suburb of Khimki.
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Associated Press

Associated Press

MOSCOW, Russia — A prominent activist says she has been approved to run for mayor of a Moscowsuburb in a vote considered key for the Russian opposition.

Yevgeniya Chirikova gained fame several years ago by leading a campaign to save a forest in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, a movement that in 2010 prompted the largest opposition rally in a decade and has helped save parts of the threatened forest.

The Khimki election is seen as a litmus test for opposition activists' electability. It also could test the tolerance for dissent in Russian President Vladimir Putin's government.

Russian election officials have barred many opposition candidates from running, finding fault with small details in their bids.

Chirikova and her campaign chief Nikolai Lyaskin wrote Sunday on Twitter that her candidacy was approved.

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