By DARIA LITVINOVA
MOSCOW (AP) — One of Russia’s most ardent feminists is running for a seat in the State Duma with the goal of enacting a strong law against domestic abuse. Alyona Popova says her candidacy for Russia’s parliament in a Moscow district is the only hope for a law to combat violence against women. Russian police routinely turn a blind eye to domestic abuse and restraining orders don’t exist. That leaves victims without a key protection. Domestic violence was a criminal offense briefly in Russia in 2016 under a measure passed by lawmakers. But President Vladimir Putin was pressured by conservative groups to roll it back. It was downgraded to a misdemeanor in 2017 and is punishable by a fine of about $68. Voting begins Friday and runs through Sunday.