I am very sympathetic but very unsurprised.
Did Stalin hold free elections for city government during his reign? Does the opposition win municipal elections in Azerbaijan? In autocratic systems, there may be variation between how closely elected representatives hew to party orthodoxy, but free competition will not be tolerated.
Certainly a free election in the capital city would be unthinkable.
I'm not sure what the best strategy is for democrats in Russia. I don't see any free elections on the horizon.