Pushkin, ‘Vodka Inventor’ Tie in Test Moscow Vote

MOSCOW, August 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s favorite poet and a famous chemist credited in Russian urban legend with perfecting the classic vodka recipe squared off in a test run for the snap mayoral elections in Moscow on Saturday, electoral authorities said.

Alexander Pushkin and Dmitry Mendeleev scored a modest 18 votes each in the test vote, a spokesman for the city’s election committee told RIA Novosti.

But that sufficed to trounce Romantic music composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, 18-century historian Nikolai Karamzin and 19-century painter Ilya Repin in a race for the title of “All-Time Genius,” the spokesman said.

The test vote was to familiarize Muscovites with the voting procedure and examine the video surveillance setup intended to prevent vote rigging and the electronic voting system.

Moscow already held a test vote in February 2012. At the time, Peter the Great defeated Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Winston Churchill and Genghis Khan to the title of “Ruler of Destinies.”

In the real world, six candidates will compete in the Moscow mayoral vote on September 8. The favorite is acting mayor Sergei Sobyanin, a longtime Kremlin official, while the main challenger is Alexei Navalny, a whistleblowing blogger who rose to become the leader of the Russian opposition. Sobyanin is leading in most surveys, but results are inconclusive whether he can avoid a runoff.

Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) was a poet and novelist whose impact on Russian literary tradition is often compared in scope to William Shakespeare’s contribution to English language and literature.

Dmitry Mendeleev (1834-1907) is primarily known for inventing the periodic table of elements. He was also on a state commission regulating alcohol sales, which, along with his scientific studies of spirits, gave rise to the incorrect, but persistent belief that he introduced the now-classic alcohol/water proportion for vodka – 40 percent of alcohol by volume.


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