Voting is open in Russia’s 11 time zones to elect the 450 members of the lower house of the country’s parliament, the State Duma.
Here is the latest (Moscow time):
Sunday September 19
10:00 a.m. According to the Central Election Commission, the national turnout for the in-person vote was 31.51% at the end of Saturday.
08:00 Voting resumed in Moscow on the third and final day of the 2021 State Duma elections.
Saturday September 18
22:00 Owned by Google YouTube has blocked access to a video published by Alexei Navalny’s team with a list of anti-Kremlin candidates he recommends voters support, following a request from Russian authorities. The video, containing the 225 candidates chosen by the Kremlin critic as part of the Smart Voting initiative, has been viewed more than 900,000 times in the past 24 hours.
It was downloaded after Google and Apple removed Navalny’s app from their app stores under pressure from the Kremlin. When viewers in Russia attempt to access the video, access is blocked with a notice that reads: “This content is not available on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government.” The video is still available to users based outside of Russia.
Navalny’s ally Leonid Volkov, who has led the smart voting initiative from exile, has lambasted the decision. “I am terribly angry with Google and Apple. They fell into cheap blackmail. He added that the US tech giants had stood firm in the face of other Russian legal demands, such as the storage of users’ personal data on Russian servers. “Folding now, for the 101st time, is stupid. They opened Pandora’s box. It will end badly “Volkov wrote on Telegram, a platform he also criticized for deleting a Navalny Smart Voting bot on Friday night.
9:30 p.m. Responding to reports of electoral fraud and ballot stuffing, CEC Deputy Head Nikolai Bulayev Recount state news agency RIA Novosti, there was “no violation that would affect the outcome of the vote.”
20.00 Polling stations were closed on the second day of parliamentary elections in Russia. The turnout stands at 31.5%, the Central Election Commission announced on Saturday evening. Among those who registered in advance to vote online, the turnout is over 70%.
7:30 p.m. Despite attempts by Russian authorities to restrict access to video cameras at polling stations, images continue to emerge of apparent ballot box jams, such as a video of Kemerovo, shared by the Yabloko Liberal Party, showing what appears to be a hand reaching out behind a Russian flag to add ballots to the ballot box as an election official tries to obscure the camera’s view.
5:15 p.m. Russia has asked Google-owned YouTube to remove three videos posted by Alexei Navalny’s team promoting his smart voting initiative, Navalny senior assistant Ivan Zhdanov said in a statement. Tweeter. The request comes after Roskomnadzor’s communications watchdog on Saturday asked Google to remove two documents uploaded by Navalny’s team along with a list of anti-Kremlin candidates they recommend voting for. Google removed Navalny’s app from its app store on Friday under pressure from the Kremlin.
4:45 p.m. Some 14 protesters were arrested on the second day of voting in Russia, according to independent observer OVD-Info. Among them were activists demonstrating in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and an anti-Putin shaman from Siberia as well as a former regional coordinator of the now banned Navalny political organization in St. Petersburg which monitored the vote.
13.30 The Russian internet regulator has asked Google to remove two Google Docs containing lists of anti-Kremlin candidates backed by the team of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. An email Google sent to Navalny’s team said Roskomnadzor’s communications watchdog had informed the US tech giant that the documents violated Russian laws.
“If you don’t delete the files, Google may be forced to block access”, the email, share by the Navalny team on its Telegram channel, said. Google removed Navalny’s app from its app store on Friday under pressure from the Kremlin. The documents in question are a comprehensive slate of candidates backed by Navalny’s Smart Voting System, a tactical voting initiative designed to oust lawmakers from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party.
13.00 Russia’s Central Election Commission said it “recorded three targeted cyber attacks from abroad” against Russia’s electoral system and its website during Friday’s vote. He added that more attacks were expected, but did not specify which countries he said were involved.
12.30 There are fewer reports of crowded polling stations on Saturday, but incidents of reported violations continue to occur. In St. Petersburg, a man was arrested after he was caught attempting to put a dozen ballot papers, supporting the ruling United Russia party, into the ballot box, Novaya Gazeta reported. A video of Samara, share by vote monitors of the liberal opposition party Yabloko, shows a nearly empty polling station all morning, while the official vote tally for the district recorded some 1,600 ballots cast on Saturday.
Another video showed pens with ink fading in polling stations and ballot boxes with secret doors and elusive seals.
10:00 a.m. Independent election observation NGO Golos recorded 2,130 possible infractions at polling stations on Friday. Some 382 were in Moscow and 171 others in St. Petersburg, Novaya Gazeta reported.
8:00 am: Voting resumed in Moscow on the second day of the 2021 State Duma elections.
12:30 am: Telegram founder Pavel Durov said on Friday evening that instant messaging was suspending support for all “campaign-associated bots” during the parliamentary elections in Russia, which appears to be a blow to the “voting strategy”. smart ”from Navalny.
Friday September 17th
8:00 p.m .: As polling stations close in Moscow on the first of three voting days, the official turnout stands at 16.85%, according to Russia’s Central Election Commission.
7:00 p.m .: Reports of suspected electoral fraud circulated on social media throughout the day. This video from St. Petersburg appears to show a ballot box filled with ballot papers, a practice used in previous elections in the country.
18.10: A raccoon was seen running around one of the polling stations in Moscow, which was reportedly let loose by its owner while he was voting. It took authorities seven minutes to catch the animal, local media said.
4:40 p.m .: President Vladimir Putin, who is isolating himself after being exposed to Covid-19 in his entourage, voted online in the country’s legislative elections from his residence outside Moscow, the Kremlin announced on Friday.
4:15 p.m .: Social media videos posted online Friday showed buses with newly stricken Russian citizens continue to leave the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) of eastern Ukraine to vote in Russia. Authorities in the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) in eastern Ukraine have prepared nearly 1,000 buses and trains to neighboring Russia for residents in the election, a move criticized by officials in Kiev.
4:00 p.m .: Russia’s three-day voting periods are expected to remain, the head of the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC) said, a move that critics say will facilitate voter fraud.
3.20 p.m .: More 40% of Muscovites who have requested electronic voting have already voted, the Central Election Commission said.
14.36 Vladimir Putin will vote online in the Duma elections, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.
11.06: Social footage from Friday morning showed long lines of people outside polling stations in cities across Russia. A source close to the government told independent media outlet Meduza that many state employees were asked to vote before 12 p.m. Friday. Critics say the Russian elections have a long history of intimidating voters at work, especially in the bloated public sector, which accounts for a third of jobs in Russia. A recent survey released by state-funded polling agency VTsIOM said 14% of all employers working in factories in Russia faced forced voting in upcoming elections
10:20 am: More 10% of Russians who have requested electronic voting have already voted, the digital science ministry said.
10.13: Apple and Google have removed the apps of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny from their online stores after Russian authorities threatened their employees with jail, Navalny aides said on Friday.
08.01: Polling stations were opened in Russian regions belonging to the Moscow time zone. Residents of Moscow will be able to vote online.
AFP contributed to the report.