Voting is open across Russia’s 11 time zones to elect the 450 members of the country’s lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma.
Here’s the latest (Moscow time):
08:00: Voting has resumed in Moscow on the second day of Russia’s 2021 State Duma Elections.
00.30: Telegram founder Pavel Durov said on Friday evening that the instant messenger is suspending support for all “bots associated with election campaigning” during Russia’s parliamentary election in what appears to be a blow to Navalny’s “Smart Voting” stategy.
Friday Sept. 17
20.00: As polls close in Moscow on the first of three voting days, the official turnout stands at 16.85%, according to Russia’s Central Election Commission.
19.00: Reports of suspected election fraud have been circulating on social media throughout the day. This video from St. Petersburg appears to show a ballot box being stuffed with ballot papers, a practice used in previous elections in the country.
18.10: A raccoon was spotted running around one of the polling stations in Moscow, reportedly let loose by its owner when he was casting his vote. It took officials seven minutes to catch the animal, local media said.
16.40: President Vladimir Putin, who is self-isolating after being exposed to Covid-19 in his inner circle, has voted online in the country’s parliamentary elections from his residence outside Moscow, the Kremlin announced on Friday
16.15: Social media videos posted online on Friday showed buses with newly minted Russian citizens continue to leave eastern Ukraine’s breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) to vote in the Russian. Authorities in eastern Ukraine’s breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) have readied nearly 1,000 buses and trains to neighbouring Russia for residents to elections, a move slammed by officials in Kiev.
16.00: Russia’s three-day voting periods are likely here to stay, the head of the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC) said, a move that critics warn will make it easier to commit voter fraud.
15.20: Over 40% of Muscovites that applied for electronic voting have already voted, the Central Election Committee has said.
14.36 Vladimir Putin will vote in the Duma election online, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.
11.06: Social images on Friday morning showed long queues of people outside voting stations in cities across Russia. A source close to the government told the independent news outlet Meduza that many state employees were told to cast their vote before 12 p.m. on Friday. Critics say Russian elections have a long history of voter intimidation at work, especially in the bloated public sector, which accounts for a third of jobs in Russia. A recent poll published by the state-funded VTsIOM polling agency said 14% of all employers working at industrial plants in Russia had been confronted with forced voting for the upcoming elections
10.20: Over 10% of Russians that applied for electronic voting have already voted, the Ministry of Digital Science said.
10.13: Apple and Google deleted jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s apps from their online stores after Russian authorities threatened jail time for their employees, Navalny’s aides said Friday.
08.01: Polling stations have opened in Russia’s regions that belong to the Moscow time zone. Moscow residents will be able to vote online.