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Today’s most important political battle in Russia is not for control of the Kremlin, but for power over its capital city. Indeed, the outcome of Moscow’s mayoral election campaign concerns every Russian — and everyone who is interested in Russia’s fate.

Just as presidential elections in the United States matter for the entire world, mayoral elections in Moscow matter for Russia’s national politics — and thus for its economy. So what happens in Moscow on Sept. 8 (and, possibly, in the run-off election two weeks later) will have profound implications for the country’s future.

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