The Russian People’s Front and hybrid governance dilemma
Introduction In the middle of September 2013 a group of mothers of invalid children from Volgograd and its neighboring districts began a hunger strike against Volgogradʼs authorities, who were seemingly incapable of easing the anger and despair of the mothers. Approximately two weeks later, a group of mothers of multi-children families joined the protest, now extending the hunger strike to a collective of thirty-nine mothers. The group’s extreme means to receive public attention for their problems was channeled into the demand for the resignation of Volgograd’s governor, Sergei Bozhenov, from the ‘the party of the power’, United Russia (UR). In all likelihood, the trigger for the strike was not only the unbearable ineffectiveness of the region’s social policies but also the recent reelection of Bozhenov as the governor of the region just before the hunger strike, followed by the wide discontent regarding the falsification and fraud during the recently held gubernatorial elections. Other parties of the city duma demanded new elections besides the resignation of Bozhenov (Sotsialʼnyi golod 2013; V Volgograde 2013).