News of the Day: 18 September 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Saturday reported 20,329 new coronavirus cases — the highest number of new infections in four weeks — and 799 deaths.

The Moscow Times: 21.30 Responding to reports of election fraud and ballot stuffing, CEC deputy head Nikolai Bulayev told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency there were “no violations that would affect the result of the vote.” 20.00 Polls have closed on the second day of Russia’s parliamentary elections. Turnout stands at 31.5%, the Central Election Commission said Saturday evening. Among those who registered in advance to vote online, turnout is above 70%.  19.30 Despite Russian officials attempts to restrict access to video cameras in polling stations, footage continues to emerge of apparent ballot stuffing, such as a video from Kemerovo, shared by the liberal Yabloko party, showing what appears to be a hand reaching from behind a Russian flag to add ballot slips to the collection box while an election official tries to obscure the camera’s view.

RFE/RL: Popular messaging app Telegram has suspended all chat bots used in the Russian elections campaign, in another blow to jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Smart Voting initiative after Apple and Google removed the election-guide app from their stores.

RFE/RL: Even though the Russian authorities no longer allow the public to see the live video feeds from polling stations as the country votes, many videos from polling stations across the country have emerged that seem to show flagrant ballot-box stuffing.

RFE/RL: Allegations of widespread election fraud marred the second of three days of Russia’s polls on September 18 as jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Smart Voting bot disappeared from the popular messaging app Telegram following similar moves by Apple and Google.

RFE/RL: Russia has never held a post-Soviet election that met recognized democratic standards. But that does not mean that the fraud has been evenly spread across the country.

Leave a Reply