To the Siberian city of Barnaul, where residents have thrown their support behind Barsik to become their next mayor.

Indeed, more than 90 per cent backed the unknown newcomer for the post ahead of a commission comprising the city council and regional governor choosing the new mayor from six shortlisted candidates.

But Barsik was not among them. So who is this mysterious outsider? Erm, a cat. A Siamese cat, to be precise.

Many have long suspected cats to be scheming Machiavellian geniuses, but it seems Barsik's surge support is less about him being Siberia's answer to Frank Underwood (or Francis Urquart for readers of a certain vintage) and rather more to do with Barnaul's residents being fed up with a lamentable legacy of corruption in Russian politics.

"The conclusion has been made that there's absolutely no trust among voters for any of the candidates," local Communist Party official Ivan Karpov told the Yakima Herald.

"Through the image of Barsik the cat, our people are sending definite wishes to the future head of Barnaul," regional governor Alexander Karlin added.