Friday, 22 March, 2019

Anger as Ukraine doesn't allow Russians to vote

Anger as Ukraine doesn't allow Russians to vote Anger as Ukraine doesn't allow Russians to vote
Patty Aguilar | 18 March, 2018, 23:30

But Mr Putin's critics will dismiss the vote as an nearly meaningless exercise, given that the main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was not permitted to compete.

Selfie competitions, giveaways, food festivals and children's entertainers were laid on at polling booths in a bid to create a festive atmosphere around the election.

Navalny, who is overseeing a campaign for a vote boycott and sent over 33,000 observers across the country with manual counters to see how official turnout figures differ from those of monitors, said there had been "unprecedented violations".

With 31 percent of the votes counted, mostly in eastern part of the country, Vladimir Putin leads with 73 percent of the vote, well above the simple majority needed to avoid a run-off.

Another term would take Putin to almost 25 years in power - a longevity second only to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Election monitors are reporting irregularities at voting stations across Russian Federation in a presidential election whose only open question is how many people cast ballots.

Russia's Central Election Commission recognised that there were some irregularities, but was likely to dismiss wider criticism and declare the overall result legitimate.

The exit poll showed Communist candidate Pavel Grudinin in second place with 11.2% of the vote, while ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky came in third with 6.7%.

Since first being elected president in 2000, Putin has stamped his total authority on the world's biggest country, muzzling opposition, putting television under state control and reasserting Moscow's standing overseas.

Liverpool vs Watford Final score - EPL 2018 | 17 March 2018
Klopp said: "I'm really happy about the result and the performance in very hard circumstances". It was obviously slippery and everybody suffered, but not Mo in that situation".

Czech foreign minister rejects Russia's nerve toxin origin claim
Theresa May has said Porton Down has found the nerve agent used was part of a group developed by Russian Federation . He told the BBC: "Russia is the country that invented it, has the experience, turned it into a weapon".

Britain's claim Putin ordered ex-spy poisoning 'unforgiveable'
However, Johnson went further, blaming Putin directly on Friday. "Those (American) politicians are playing with fire", he said. Russia's ambassador to Britain said Friday the 23 expulsions will reduce staff at the embassy by about 40 percent.

The 65-year-old former KGB officer has sought to use the campaign to emphasise Russia's role as a major world power, boasting of its "invincible" new nuclear weapons in a pre-election speech. VTsIOM said in a statement that over 37 percent of those polled refused to say who they voted for.

Putin loyalists said the result was a vindication of his tough stance towards the West. "After he brought Crimea back, he became a hero to me".

Putin thanked thousands of people who rallied outside the Kremlin after the vote.

Western sanctions on Russia imposed over Crimea and Moscow's backing of a pro-Russian separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine remain in place and have damaged the Russian economy, which only rebounded a year ago after a prolonged downturn.

Putin was first named president in late 1999 after the resignation of Boris Yeltsin and was elected to two terms.

In response, London expelled 23 Russian diplomats, prompting a tit-for-tat move by Moscow.

The election came amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West, with reports that Moscow was behind the nerve-agent poisoning this month of a former Russian double agent in Britain and that its internet trolls had mounted an extensive campaign to undermine the 2016 US presidential election.

Election officials flew to far-flung regions to collect votes from indigenous herders, while cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov - the only Russian now aboard the International Space Station - cast his ballot by proxy.

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