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Yaroslavl New Capital of Democracy in Russia?
14 June 2012
Yaroslavl New Capital of Democracy in Russia?

Yaroslavl New Capital of Democracy in Russia?
By Daniel Satinsky

Daniel Satinsky (far right) stands at the
inauguration ceremony with the new
Mayor of Yaroslavl (center, in red tie).

On May 26, 2012, Evgenii Robertovich Urlashov was inaugurated as the new Mayor of the ancient city of Yaroslavl. Daniel Satinsky, President of the US-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England, was part of the official delegation of dignitaries participating in the full day of ceremonies marking the occasion. Mayor Urlashov declared himself to be the Peoples Mayor in his inauguration speech, a continuation of his election campaign theme.

Urlashov was the unlikely winner of this post after triumphing in the second round run-off election. Given little chance by political observers and shut out of the campaign by the local media in the early round, Urlashov and his supporters ran a campaign based on hundreds of meetings with local residents and extensive use of social media.

An eight-year veteran of the Yaroslavl City Council, Urlashov resigned from United Russia in the wake of the tragic crash of the plane carrying the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv professional hockey team in September 2011. Already known as an outspoken politician, this resignation placed Urlashov clearly outside of the local political establishment. This difference was accentuated by his campaign attacks on corruption and misuse of public funds by public officials.

Mayor Urlashov has pledged to immediately improve the quality of public amenities such as parks and roads. He plans to utilize public-private partnerships to expand the effectiveness of public programs. He also plans to investigate best practices in city services and economic development from around the world to adapt for use in Yaroslavl. His advisors have pledged to continue to involve the public in deciding the direction of policy through extensive use of the Internet to interface with the citizens.

Daniel Satinsky has a long history of connection with Yaroslavl, having traveled there to learn Russian in 1992 and becoming a co-founder in InTC Service in 1995, the oldest Russian-American company in Yaroslavl, providing translation and other business services. His partner in InTC Service, Irina Alekseevna Novikova, is also President of the Russian American Friendship Society of Yaroslavl and was the initiator of the contact with the Mayors staff for the invitation to attend the ceremony. Daniel stated that he was honored to be included and to have the opportunity to extend congratulations to the Mayor on behalf of the Chamber and on behalf of Russia Innovation Collaborative, LLC, one of his other major interests, at both at the opening reception on inauguration day and at the gala dinner in the evening.


Daniel Satinsky (center) walking with a large group to the inauguration ceremony in Yaroslavl.
The new mayor is pictured to the left in a red tie. The deputy mayor is to the far right, also in a red tie.

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