Federal officials might hire the owner of Russia's largest social networks to boost turnout in next year's presidential election

15:10, 9 august 2017

Mail.ru Group, the owner of Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki, and an eponymous email service, could get involved in Russia’s next presidential election, according to the news agency RBC, whose sources say the government will likely hire the company to design and implement a “digital strategy” to boost voter turnout in order to dispel concerns about a weak mandate in 2018.

According to RBC, Russia’s Central Elections Commission is filling a procurement order to implement part of its “information concept” in next year’s election. All offers are due by August 10, and Mail.ru Group is reportedly the government’s favorite, though sources close to the Kremlin tell RBC that other companies like Rambler & Co. are also contenders.

Election officials are expected to reach a final decision on the procurement deal by September.